After an injury-plagued season last year that contributed to their early first-round exit, the Los Angeles Lakers bolstered their roster and are looking to make yet another run at the NBA Championship. Here are four reasons why the Lakers will win the title.
Why the Los Angeles Lakers will Win the Championship
Defense wins championships, period. The difference between the Lakers and most of these other elite teams has been the defense. Even with an injury-plagued season last year, Los Angeles was still ranked first in defensive efficiency. Everyone gets caught up with the offense, but defense is more important come playoff time due to the pace being slowed down. Good defense could make the difference in terms of going on a run or sealing a critical close-out game.
The Lakers not only bolstered their roster with great players, but they also bolstered their defensive depth (Dwight Howard, Malik Monk, De’Andre Jordan, Wayne Ellington, and Trevor Ariza). This team is going to suffocate you every single possession and once again, the defense will be the identity of this championship-caliber team.
I just raved about how good the Lakers are going to be defensively. Should we talk about how much depth this team has? On top of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook, they went out of their way and signed great role players like Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Nunn, Carmelo Anthony, Howard, Monk, Jordan, Ellington, and Ariza.
The depth on this team is kind of disgusting. People forget that depth is extremely important come playoff time. Just because a team has superstars, it doesn’t guarantee them a championship. Take the 2019 Toronto Raptors for example. They had a star in Kawhi Leonard, but they had a ton of depth that included players like Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Serge Ibaka, Danny Green, etc.
I trust that James, Davis, and Westbrook will do their thing during the playoffs. But what I love about this roster is how each player has an impact on this team. Every player matters and every player will contribute in a huge way. You think the Lakers’ starting line-up is good? Just wait till you have to play their bench. The Lakers bench is just as good as some teams’ starting line-up. Just think about that.
Nobody wants to give the Los Angeles Lakers coaching staff any credit for their recent success. In fact, that media does a horrible job giving them credit if I’m being honest, so I’ll do it. Frank Vogel has done a fantastic job leading the coaching staff. In his first year as head coach for the Lakers, he helped the team win a championship. Last season, he made the Lakers the number one defensive team in the league, and most of that was without Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
Let’s talk about how amazing of an assistant coach Phil Handy has been for the Lakers. Did I mention how the Lakers hired David Fizdale to be an assistant coach as well? When the Lakers won their championship in 2020, they had a great coaching staff (Jason Kidd, Lionel Hollins, Handy, and Vogel).
What I hate the most is how people believe that coaches don’t matter. Who’s the one making adjustments? Coaches. In the playoffs, you see your opponent at least four times in a best-of-seven series. That means you have to be ready to make adjustments and design plays and schemes to counter your opponent. Who does that? Coaches. Stop disrespecting the coaches. They have a massive impact on the team and the Lakers have an amazing coaching staff, hence them having a major advantage come playoff time.
One of the biggest criticisms for the Lakers is that they’re too old. After all, they are the oldest team in the league. So what? Last time I checked, they’re trying to win this year.
What the Lakers have that most other contenders don’t have is experience. I’m not talking about just some experience. The Lakers are another level in terms of the experience they have on that team. LeBron James (4 titles), Rajon Rondo (2 titles), Dwight Howard (1 title). I could go on and on with regards to the experience the Lakers have on this roster.
My point is that with age comes experience. Just because they have the oldest team in the league, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be successful. Will the experience show in the regular season standings? I’m not sure. But come playoff time, the Los Angeles Lakers will be the team to beat.
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