Former Miami Heat forward LeBron James will not be part of the postseason for the first time in 14 years. While his detractors are pointing at this fact as a sign that his level of play has declined, his former Heat teammate Chris Bosh expects James to bounce back with an outstanding 2019-20 season.
Bosh appeared on ESPN’s “E:60″ and responded to a question as to whether James may be getting close to retirement like Bosh and another former Big 3 Heat teammate in Dwyane Wade:
“He’s going strong. He’s set the bar so high that if he averages 25 (points), eight (rebounds) and eight (assists), that’s not enough. After eight years in the Finals, people have gotten jaded by his greatness, obviously. For the first time in almost 15 years, he can get rest and really fully reset and get a whole offseason. So I think you’ll, you’ll probably see something you’ve never seen before from him next year.”
James’ streak of eight consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals was a mark that hadn’t been accomplished in decades. The accomplishment came with two different teams: the Heat from 2011 to 2014 and the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2015 to 2018. He won two championships with the Heat and one with the Cavs.
Last July, James signed to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. While some predictions hinted that James could help the Lakers dethrone the defending champion Golden State Warriors, that proved to be wishful thinking. The Lakers have nine games left in their season and have a 32-41 record on the year.
James himself has struggled with injuries this year, but from a statistical standpoint he is still delivering the same standout numbers he has in recent years. In 53 games, he’s averaging 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8.1 assists per game.
James will turn 35 years of age during next season. While many are predicting an end to his prime years, James has proven critics wrong before. If Bosh’s prediction is accurate, James is poised to do it again.