NBA Season Preview: Los Angeles Lakers


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Image from Twitter via Keelee23

 

2019-20 Regular Season Record: 52-19 (.732%), 1st in Western Conference, NBA Champions
Head Coach: Frank Vogel

LeBron James’ 2nd season as a Laker was decidedly higher than his 1st. Teaming up with All-NBA teammate Anthony Davis, the duo led the Lakers to the promised land in their first season collectively. Both had been spectacular all through the season – Davis averaging 26.1 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.5 steals & 2.3 blocks on higher than 50.3% shooting and LBJ went off for 25.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg and a league-leading 10.2 apg. Both players had been named to the All-NBA 1st Team (Davis for a 4th time, James for a thirteenth), and had been the alpha canine that led the rest of the rag-tag Lakers to the championship. Whatever route the LBJ/Davis combo had been taking, the rest of the team was to comply with. Multiple veteran players added depth to the Lakers, and had been integral items to the championship, like Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, Danny Green and Markieff Morris. Youngsters Alex Caruso and Kyle Kuzma had been additionally vital within the Lakers run, as they constructed good chemistry with each James and Davis. The Lakers cruised to the title within the bubble, as they only misplaced 5 games on path to winning 16, ensuing within the franchise’s seventeenth NBA Championship, tying the Celtics for 1st all-time.

 

 

LBJ & Davis

With two All-NBA 1st Team players, it’s clear the place the Lakers power lie – with the perfect throughout player in NBA historical past, and the present finest large man within the league. It’s a dynamic, superior partnership that no different team can match – not Kawhi & George, not Westbrook & Beal, nor Luka & Porzingis. Those duos are shut, and may even beat the Lakers combo right here and there. But over the course of a season, and within the playoffs, it’s often going to come back up Lakers. Combined, they run flawless pick-and-rolls, are unimaginable to defend in transition and had been far and away the quantity one help combo within the league. The result’s a dominant wing-big man combo that can not be matched in measurement, expertise, expertise and clutchness. Expect nothing totally different from these two in 2020-21, regardless of some cautious “load management” by means of the regular season.



 

Tom’s Take: Davis and LBJ might be voted for their fifth & 14th All-NBA 1st Teams, respectively, within the 2020-21 season.

How Good was the Lakers Offseason?

The Lakers undoubtedly had an ideal offseason, no matter how quick it was. Their prime two priorities had been to re-sign Anthony Davis and to lengthen LeBron James. They did each. And whereas each of these signings appeared inevitable, the Lakers had been in a position to substitute all their misplaced players and even improve. They traded away Danny Green and changed him with Wesley Matthews. Rajon Rondo joined the Atlanta Hawks and might be changed by Dennis Schroder. JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard are now not Lakers, being changed by reigning Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell and Marc Gasol. With Schroder changing Rondo they’ve a youthful, extra offensive-focused point guard that may take a number of the offensive stress of LBJ and Davis. Despite being older with diminishing athleticism, Marc Gasol remains to be an ideal signing for the Lakers. He will be capable to assist area the floor along with his shooting contact from downtown, make wonderful passes within the half-court set and play top-notch assist defense and one-on-one defense within the post. Harrell signed a 2-year, $19M deal with the Lakers and brings toughness and rebounding to the team, in addition to scoring from in shut – he completed 4th within the league in scoring within the paint final 12 months. Signing Matthews is not an earth-shattering transfer, however a 1-year deal for $3.6M is a strong signing for the Lakers, because the veteran brings 10 years of expertise and a career 3-point shooting of 38.1%.

Can the Lakers Repeat?

The million greenback query. Can the Lakers replicate their success from final 12 months? With the duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and the additions they made within the off-season, the Lakers are a greater team than final 12 months. As the defending champs, they’ll have a goal on their backs and teams will give them their finest effort each night time. The Lakers might want to navigate coming off the longest season in league historical past, adopted by a brief offseason, by maintaining their star player’s minutes down and making certain that team chemistry stays high. The strikes made within the offseason to improve their complimentary items will go a good distance in serving to the Lakers defend their championship.
Tom’s Take: The Lakers will run by means of the Western Conference and win their 18th NBA Championship.

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