LeBron James lavished reward on Russell Westbrook and James Harden because the Lakers search for a method to cease the important thing Rockets duo within the NBA playoffs.
The groups will meet in Sport 1 of the Western Convention semifinals on Friday, with James’ staff having overcome the Path Blazers in 5 video games and Houston ousting Oklahoma Metropolis in a collection that went the complete seven video games.
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Former Thunder pair Westbrook and Harden — each of whom have received league MVP awards throughout their careers — will command probably the most consideration from James and others on the Lakers’ protection.
Harden led the league in scoring throughout the common season at 34.three factors per sport, whereas Westbrook completed within the high 21 within the league for factors, rebounds and assists.
“With James (Harden), it is how obtainable he’s to his teammates night time in and night time out,” James advised reporters. “In the event you take a look at what number of video games he performs per 12 months, and what number of minutes he performs all through the course of his profession, just about he is all the time been obtainable.
“He is all the time been in uniform and he is been doing this at a excessive stage for lots of years.
“That is what sort of will get misplaced in translation as a result of everybody appears to be like at Euro stepping and step-back 3s, however once you’re obtainable to your teammates, that is gigantic to any sport, any craft or something that you just’re doing in life.
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“In the event you’re simply obtainable for somebody they know they’ll all the time depend on you. That is just about probably the greatest issues that folks do not acknowledge.”
James has performed with Harden and Westbrook for the US Olympic staff and the three-time NBA champion admires the latter’s strategy when he’s on the court docket.
“With Russ, he is simply an murderer,” James mentioned. “He is full-throttle and he may care much less what anybody thinks about his sport, he goes out and performs his method and he is been profitable doing that.
“They’re two nice basketball gamers, two actually good guys — nice guys, extra importantly. They simply do what they do. They exit and so they take care of their enterprise and so they just about do not care what anybody says about the way in which they play.”