Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel insisted the team are not taking LeBron James for granted as they prepare for the second round of the NBA playoffs.
James produced a masterclass with 36 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to help the Lakers seal a 4-1 series victory over the Portland Trail Blazers by winning 131-122 on Saturday.
The three-time NBA champion and four-time MVP had two triple-doubles and two double-doubles in the Western Conference first-round matchup at Walt Disney World Resort.
As the top-seeded Lakers await the Houston Rockets or Oklahoma City Thunder, Vogel was asked if James – averaging a triple-double in the postseason – is taken for granted within the league.
“I think the media and maybe the fans are taking for granted but we don’t take it for granted inhouse here,” Vogel replied following Monday’s practice.
“Our coaching staff, front office and his team-mates, we all really understand appreciate how special his performances are and what he brings to the table.
“We definitely don’t take that for granted.”
The Lakers, meanwhile, could be boosted by the return of guard Rajon Rondo for the Western Conference semi-finals.
Rondo has been sidelined in Orlando, Florida since suffering a fractured right thumb in July.
“He did practice today, did look good,” Vogel told reporters. “We’re hopeful to have him in this series.”