Hello all! Welcome to the first edition of “3 Reasons Why”, a sports-centric series about why you should believe in these teams in their respective sports. With the NBA back in full swing and playoffs only a few days away, I figured it was the best time to talk about my favorite for the title, the Los Angeles Lakers.
Disclaimer: LeBron James is the definitive king of any team he is on. In this article I am looking at the pieces around him that will help win the championship, rather than just proclaim King James as the ruler of the NBA and move on with it, because we all know that is true.
- Anthony Davis
“The Brow” as he’s also known as, has a real chance to prove that he is the best right-hand man that LeBron James has ever played with. Huge shoes to fill considering that LBJ’s best friend, Dwyane Wade, and old pal, Kyrie Irving, were two of the best at their positions during the times they played with Lebron. This is not a knock of those two, but more a testament to Davis’ skill and astonishing size. A 6’10 Power Forward who flies around the court, blocks shots, hits 3’s and can take over a game if needed. Already in the bubble, he is having big games (41-12 against the Jazz), and it’s exactly what LeBron is going to need him to do in order to keep up with the quick pace of scoring most Western Conference Teams have.
2. Fresh Legs
LeBron is a guy who has played constantly game in and game out from October to June every year from 2010-2018 until the Lakers failed to make the playoffs in 2019. This year was already a revenge tour after LBJ got a much needed 2 months off last season. Now, right before playoffs, they gave him a 3-month break? I believe he’s going to be a different beast than before. Even at 35 years old, he’s shown he hasn’t lost more than a step or two, averaging 26-8-10 in his 17th year. Better numbers than many players will average in their prime. Prepare for his numbers to be even better come playoff time just as they always are.
3. Bench Depth
This is what has killed LeBron led teams in the past. In 2015 against the Warriors, his second-best player was Matthew Dellevadova. LBJ was a candidate for an MVP award in a series where he was on the losing side of the battle. Today, LeBron has a solid bench rotation of Alex Caruso, Dwight Howard, Kentavius Caldwell Pope, Kyle Kuzma, and Markieff Morris. This provides depth at every position for them. A second unit that LeBron hasn’t really had since Miami. I’m not saying these guys are the savior of the season, but it definitely helps to have a solid bench rotation against the Clippers, who have a deep bench as well. It will help against the Rockets, who have a relatively weak bench and will be tired in long series. I believe that bench depth is what makes or breaks the teams in the West. This is why I think the Clippers and Lakers will meet each other in the Western Conference Finals, but ultimately I see LeBron locking up another championship and performing very well in the bubble.
These are not the only reasons that the Lakers could find themselves hoisting the NBA championship trophy when the time comes, but I believe these are their advantages that they have compared to a team like the Rockets or the Nuggets.
Zach Hawkins is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and a sports junkie, dealing in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, and Daily Fantasy.