Los Angeles Lakers: 3 players who need to have the ball more

(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

1. LeBron James

Wait, what? The man who is widely criticized for getting the ball too much and holding the ball too long needs to have the ball more? In a sense, yes he does.

LeBron does not need to increase his nightly time of possession, his shot attempts per game or his usage rate. This is all about totals, not averages.

After injuries limited him to 55 games this season, LeBron needs to stay healthy next season and simply be on the court more often — which means having the ball in his hands more often — if the Lakers are going to have a chance at being a contender in the West.

His 27.4 points per game, 8.3 assists per game and 51.0 shooting percentage from the field would do wonders for the Lakers if it were spread out over 75 games instead of 55.

If L.A. gets what it wants in the offseason and lands Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis, Jimmy Butler or another veteran star, LeBron can certainly afford to reduce his workload on a night-by-night basis. The key is that he needs to actually be playing night-by-night rather than sitting.