‘I’m Playing Injury Free’: LeBron James Picked Up His Defense

by November 04, 2019

LeBron James is much more active on the defensive end of the floor for Los Angeles this season, which he credits to “playing injury free.”

James told reporters Sunday night that his “quick twitch” is back, along with the requisite speed and strength following a 103-96 road win against the San Antonio Spurs.

The 34-year-old says he accepted challenges from Lakers head coach Frank Vogel and superstar teammate Anthony Davis to pick up his defense.

Per The LA Times and ESPN:

“For me, I just take the challenge,” he said. “I love being challenged. Coach challenged me. A.D. challenged me. I challenged myself. I put a lot of hard work into my offseason by getting my quick twitch, getting my bounce back, getting my speed back, my reaction time back [after being injured last year]. My mind has always been there. That’s what it’s all about.”

After giving up 112 points and allowing the Los Angeles Clippers to shoot 51.9 percent in an opening night loss, the Lakers have won five games in a row, limiting their opponents to an average of 96.8 points on 38.1 percent shooting.

“I’m playing injury free. I’m not injured. My quick twitch is back. My speed is back, my strength is back,” James said after the Lakers’ 103-96 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday to improve to 5-1.

James, who turns 35 next month and is playing in his 17th season, said that the groin injury he suffered on Christmas Day made his defense worse than what he is capable of delivering.

“Playing with a torn groin last year — even when I came back it was still partially torn — it was difficult to be able to move and shift like I’m capable of doing that defensively,” James said.

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