KEY POINTS

  • LeBron James' chances of winning the MVP award this season depends on his next duel with Kawhi Leonard
  • James has dominated fellow MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo in latest win
  • James and Lakers not slowing down despite securing playoff spot

LeBron James’ former teammate predicted that his chances of winning the MVP award this season will increase if he will dominate Kawhi Leonard in next Lakers vs. Clippers game.

Following a big win over the  Milwaukee Bucks  on Friday night at Staples Center, the  Los Angeles Lakers  clinched their first  NBA playoff berth  since the 2012-13 season. 

As expected, “King James” once again proved that he’s still one of the best players in the world. At the age of 35,  James  has showed everybody that he is capable of leading his team to a postseason berth. And that’s exactly what he did with his performance against the Bucks. 37 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals.

James’ latest performance only added to his case for winning the MVP award this season. Prior to the game, Richard Jefferson, James’ former teammate in Cleveland, appeared on ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo” show and was asked to comment about the issue.

According to Jefferson, James can convince everybody that he’s the real MVP this season if he can dominate Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard the very next time they meet on the court.

“I’ll say this LeBron’s MVP (chances) all lie in the next 10 days. To me, it’s all about the next 10 days. They have the Bucks and they have the Clippers coming up. If he’s able to dominate those two games, in my opinion, I think you could put him back into the (MVP) conversation. That’s what the MVP has to do. The MVP has to dominate the best teams on the biggest stages,” Jefferson pointed out.

James has already won the duel against Antetokounmpo but he still has to deal with Leonard. And if Jefferson’s analysis happens to be true, another solid performance from James in the next Lakers vs. Clippers game would end the MVP discussion this year.

LeBron Kawhi LeBron James defends Kawhi Leonard during Lakers vs. Clippers NBA 2019-20 season opener. Photo: Getty Images/Harry How

Meanwhile, James and the Lakers have no plans to slow down despite securing a spot in the playoffs. After Friday’s game, James talked about what it means for him to lead the Lakers back to the playoffs after falling short last season.

“I came here to put this team, this franchise back where they needed to be. The league is not what it is if the Lakers are not winning. That was one of my responsibilities and my goals when I came here last year. When I wasn’t able to fulfill that, it hurt me in my heart to go down on Dec. 25 with the groin injury that I had. Knock on wood,” James said.