Quinn Cook Explains Why Lakers Need LeBron James: ‘There a Reason Why He’s the Best’

Robert Marvi
2 Min Read

On Thursday night, the Los Angeles Lakers blew out the Golden State Warriors, 116-86, without LeBron James, who sat out with a sore groin.

Although the numbers show that they played well without their leader, shooting 51.7 percent from the field while playing superb defense, they are misleading.

After the game, guard Quinn Cook explained how they miss James when he’s not on the court.

“His presence. His IQ. Everything,” Cook said. “His scoring. He’s the best distributor in the league. So, we get easier shots when he’s out there. And just his defensive communication; he’s quarterbacking everything, letting everybody know where he needs to go. He can guard 1 through 5. And with the ball, he’s just the best. There’s a reason why he’s the best.”

According to data compiled by ESPN Stats & Information, the Lakers have a net efficiency of plus-10.7 points per 100 possessions with James on the floor, good for second in the league.

When he’s not in the game, that stat drops to minus-2.6 points, which is 22nd in the NBA.

In addition to James’ ability to manufacture points at will when he chooses to, he’s also the pacesetter for the Lakers. They lead the league with 19.1 fast-break points per game, most of them coming from James either pushing the ball down opponents’ throats or throwing lead passes ahead of the defense.

Against the Warriors, the Lakers were able to muster 23 points in transition without the four-time MVP.

But they struggled at times in their set offense, especially in the first half, when they committed 12 turnovers.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif., and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s and fell in love with the Nick Van Exel-led Lakers teams. He truly cherishes the Kobe Bryant-era of Lakers basketball and the five world championships that came with it, and is looking forward to the team's next NBA title.