The NBA restart made its long-awaited debut just a couple of days ago and boy did it not disappoint! Through two games, the Los Angeles Lakers are 1-1. With an impressive win over the Los Angeles Clippers and a striking loss against the surprise team Toronto Raptors. As with any game, there is the good, the bad, and all that comes with it. We are going to see if the Lakers have what it takes to really win it all.
The NBA Is Back: Can The Los Angeles Lakers Win It All?
The Good: This Team Can Put Up A Fight
What can we take away from these two games? Well, first and foremost, Lebron James and Anthony Davis are not going to disappoint, that’s for sure. In the game against the Clippers, Lebron had a solid stat line of 16 points, seven assists, and 11 rebounds. James also took part in hitting the game-winning shot and playing outstanding defense on Paul George and Kawhi Leonard in the closing moments of the game. Davis took over the show with 34 points, eight rebounds, and four assists.
Kyle Kuzma whose name has been thrown around as either the weak link or a solid third option to James and Davis chipped in with 16 points and 7 rebounds. New addition Dion Waiters didn’t hesitate to make a mark adding in 11 points off the bench.
Even in the loss against the Raptors, James, Davis, and Kuzma all had solid outings. The team, as a whole, played solid defense for the most part. But, during the Raptors game, they fell apart in the end.
The Bad: Inconsistencies And Rust
As we all know, because of the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of players didn’t have access to gyms and couldn’t really practice normally. With basketball, as well as sports in general being on hold for roughly four months, rust was bound to be a factor. Not just for the Lakers, but the NBA as a whole. It reared its ugly head in the Clippers game. The rust was more prevalent in the Raptors game, however. The Lakers, as a team, shot 35.4% from the field and 25% from the 3-point line. These numbers are not great at all. Credit the Toronto defense for some of that as well. Nonetheless, those numbers are not going to get it done in the long run.
Yes, James and Davis were solid against Toronto, but the rest of the starters played terribly. Danny Green went scoreless the entire game shooting 0-7 and in 30 minutes of play and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope only scored five points.
The defense was also inconsistent. Kyle Lowry is a great player and an all-star on the Raptors, but the way they were guarding him, he looked like the second coming of Allen Iverson, scoring 33 huge points. That’s not going to get it done if you want to win the championship. All those things are, in fact, very fixable.
Can It Be Done?
The truth of the matter is, just like before the NBA went on hiatus, the Lakers, in my opinion, have everything they need to win it all. But, it will be tough. It probably is going to be a lot more difficult now since things have been jumpstarted on the fly. Players are having to adjust and get in-game shape with just a few more seeding games left before the playoffs.
The saying around the NBA has always been, “Lebron James can take any team to the finals.” We all know that’s not necessarily true. We saw that with the Lakers last year. What we do know to be true is Lebron James is motivated and on a mission with the team and organization being pushed forward by the ghost of the late, great Kobe Bryant, anything short of a championship will be deemed a failure.
Teams are going to be ready. One can name a handful of teams that feel they are primed and ready to take it all. So this will be the ultimate test, but I believe this Lakers team can and will get it done.
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