(Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports)

Following what can only be described as a dominant first two rounds of the playoffs, fans have begun to criticize the play of LeBron James. After the first two games of the Western Conference Finals saw All NBA First Team member, Anthony Davis, put up back to back 30 point games, fans have formed this notion that Anthony Davis ‘carries’ LeBron James. On any post regarding the All-NBA duo, you will find hundreds of people making these claims. LeBron James is just as valuable to the Lakers as Anthony Davis is, and we’ll show you why.

LeBron James Deferred to Davis as a Scoring Option

The first claim people make is that LeBron James has been deferring to Anthony Davis as the number one scorer. If you’re not the number one scorer, you can’t be the best player, fans are claiming. In Game 1, Anthony Davis had the hot hand, especially in the third quarter, so James kept feeding him. Everyone knows that if your teammate is on fire, you get them the ball until they cool down.

In Game 2, James dominated early in the game, scoring 20 of his 26 points in the first half. In the second half, Davis started to catch a rhythm, and James stepping back allowed him to thrive. Davis becoming the number one option in the second half helped the Lakers, as he hit huge shots in the clutch, including the game-winning three. LeBron James exploiting a teammate who is on fire, doesn’t make him any less great.

The Lakers Can’t Win Without Davis

This point has never really made sense. Last season, the Lakers were the third seed in the West until LeBron James, their best player, missed 22 games with a groin injury. It was at that point the Lakers started to drop in seeding, and by the time James came back, they had almost made the playoffs.

After adding a superstar big man (Davis), it’s only natural the Lakers would win more games, but this doesn’t take away from LeBron’s greatness. The Lakers were 6-3 without Davis this season, but only 2-2 without LeBron. Not only that but in the games without LeBron, the Lakers’ PPG averages go from 113 to 110. But when the Lakers miss Anthony Davis though, their PPG goes up from 113 to 121. James’ effect on Los Angeles is felt every time he steps on the court.

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

LeBron is Just as Good as Ever

There will always be those who try to discredit greatness. When LeBron James suits up for any team, they are way better with him on the court. Every team he leaves goes from a championship contender to a half-decent team in the playoffs at best, that’s the effect he has. If James were to leave the Lakers, I guarantee they would not be fighting for a championship right now. LeBron isn’t getting carried; he’s just using the help he has. Don’t get it confused; this is still LeBron James’ team, and he’ll continue to lead them throughout the playoffs.

(Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY Sports))

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