Ranking each Western Conference playoff team based on their best player

Denver Nuggets v Dallas Mavericks
Denver Nuggets v Dallas Mavericks / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages
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3. Los Angeles Lakers

Best player: LeBron James

LeBron James seems absolutely determined to defeat Father Time and he is honestly winning that battle right now. James has somehow taken his game to new levels in his 21st NBA season, shooting a career high 41 percent from three-point range while averaging 26/7/8. He has been sensational and was a huge reason why the Lakers were able to avoid the 9-10 play-in game.

James’ reputation as a playoff performer needs no explaining. He is one of the best of all time. He is averaging 29 PPG on 50 percent shooting for his postseason career and he averages 34 PPG in elimination games, which includes the 40-point game he had in game four against the Nuggets last year.

So why is James not 2 or 1 on this list? Well, for starters, James is not the same player that he was in the playoffs in his prime. He simply cannot carry his team to victory anymore and that is not a knock on him. He has gotten older and needs more help. 

He is still without a doubt the Lakers’ best player and they need him on the court, but he cannot will a team to victory. Game four last year against the Nuggets is a perfect example. James was sensational in the first half with 31 points, but fatigued late and only scored nine points in the second half. He is still a dangerous player when the postseason lights are bright, but is he as dangerous as the two guys left? No. Which leads me to number two…