Brian Windhorst believes LeBron James isn’t playing like his normal self due to his foot, says he’s ‘resting while he’s playing’

Brad Sullivan
4 Min Read

One NBA insider believes that Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is currently adjusting his game after injuring his foot earlier this season.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst spoke (at the 42-second mark) about what he’s seeing from the veteran.

“He’s not playing the way we’ve ever seen LeBron play,” said Windhorst. “He is moderating his energy, sort of going full out, resting while he’s playing. Really, one of the most important things that’s happened in this series is D’Angelo Russell because LeBron has been able to sort of move off the ball, let [Austin] Reaves and let D’Angelo Russell — almost the most important thing that goes on tonight is whether Russell is playing well or not. When Russell is making his shots and LeBron doesn’t have to try to force it, it gives the Lakers so much bigger margin for error.”

James’ foot injury was serious enough that there was some question about whether or not he’d be able to return to form this season. He suffered the injury during the Lakers’ Feb. 26 road win against the Dallas Mavericks and then missed the next 13 contests.

Upon his return for the final eight games of the regular season, James largely returned to his productive self. In those matchups, he scored more than 30 points in three games and led the Lakers to a 6-2 record.

During the play-in portion of the schedule, James’ game-high 30 points were pivotal in helping the Lakers win an overtime thriller over the Minnesota Timberwolves, 108-102.

James was also a central component of the Lakers’ first-round playoff upset of the Memphis Grizzlies, delivering four double-double performances.

Through three games against the Golden State Warriors, James has scored over 20 points in each contest. While his scoring numbers have dipped from his efforts during the regular season, he and his Lakers teammates aren’t likely to complain.

That’s because the Lakers have won two of the first three games of the team’s second-round playoff clash against Golden State. Another win on Monday night at Arena would put the Lakers just one win away from advancing to the Western Conference Finals.

James has also been the beneficiary of contributions from star big man Anthony Davis, who has had his own injury issues in recent years.

Davis’ first season with the Lakers came during the interrupted 2019-20 campaign. Despite the chaotic nature of the team’s playoff run that year, it ended with L.A. back on top of the NBA world.

James and his teammates would love to once again capture a championship, but the road ahead still remains long, even if they win on Monday night. After that contest, Los Angeles and Golden State will play on the Warriors’ home court in San Francisco on Wednesday night.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.