Preview of the NBA 2021-22 season about the Los Angeles Lakers. Data, results from the previous season, a look at their squad and future free agents, the objectives of the course, the player to watch and a forecast on the franchise.
Los angeles lakers
- MovimaHundreds of the market: Russell Westbrook transfer, Rajon Rondo and Carmelo Anthony arrivals (all movements here).
- Backcourt: Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo, Joel Ayayi (two-way), Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, Wayne Ellington, Kent Bazemore, Malik Monk, Austin Reaves (no garantizado), Mac McClung (no garantizado),
- Frontcourt: LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza, Chaundee Brown (no garantizado), Anthony Davis, DeAndre Jordan, Dwight Howard.
This is how they face the season
After the setback against the Suns, there is a desire for revenge in the Lakers. Or there would be if the squad had something to do with last year’s. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Talen Horton-Tucker and 12 new additions will seek to return the Angelenos to the direct fight for the ring after a season with many complications that ended with a first round elimination and a lot of movement in the offices to rebuild the template from the ground up.
With Russell Westbrook as the most important novelty, the Californians have formed a squad crowned by a Big 3 that is exciting but leaves doubts. It is exciting because we are talking about three players who are elite in the league, and because if LeBron and Davis already led the team to the ring two years ago, adding them to the king of triple-double can only make us imagine that same goal. But it leaves doubts about different topics, among which the physical section and the spacing.
Let’s go little by little. Talking about health in these analyzes is sometimes a bit naive, because obviously any team would suffer if it is affected by significant injuries. However, the Lakers come precisely from a season in which this has been a determining factor, as the continuous losses of their stars made them drop positions in the regular season until they go through the play-in and arrive in a suboptimal state at the series against Phoenix. To this must be added the issue of the advanced age of the squad, the oldest in the league by far, which makes it more prone to these types of problems.
In this regard, the presence of Westbrook can be fundamental, since, although he is a player who leaves doubts in the face of the qualifiers, he has been characterized as a regular season beast that has won many games to teams with serious deficiencies. Can Vogel give his new base more gallons during the regular season not to wear down LeBron and Davis without losing too much performance? Perhaps it is an option to shuffle.
Of the spacing, on the other hand, it is difficult not to speak in a squad with three superstars who are not characterized precisely by their outside shot. This was in fact the main focus of criticism of the Westbrook transfer, as it appealed, not without reason, to the fact that historically LeBron had required players capable of scoring from outside and playing with little ball to open spaces for him. And Russell’s profile couldn’t fit this description less.
However, the truth is that it is enough to take a look at the role men to see that the squad is not exactly exempt from this type of player. Men like Ellington and Monk can fill that role in the backcourt, while others like Ariza and Carmelo could exercise it from the forward position, so there are options in the team to open the court and leave spaces for the ball handlers. In fact, this situation could be further enhanced with a move that many have been asking for for a long time: that Davis play center.
Last season, both Marc Gasol and Andre Drummond mainly occupied this position, and the problems of both, especially the American, to fit in with La Ceja were noted. On this occasion, the need to create spaces for two men who prioritize penetration like Westbrook and James seems greater than ever, and to use the former Pelicans as center and unique and displacing men like Carmelo, Ariza or LeBron himself to the power forward position is an option that is emerging strongly. Even more so taking into account who the other two pivots of the squad are.
Howard, despite his good feelings in the last two seasons, is a player who already seems relegated to more secondary roles, and although he has fulfilled them more than anything, it may not be the time to make him the starting center again. DeAndre Jordan, for his part, arrives with even more doubts about it after gradually disappearing from the Nets’ rotation as the season progresses, which makes it inevitable to think about Davis, who has even promised to play more minutes as a center. . What will this translate into for practical purposes? We will have to wait to verify it.
Therefore, even with doubts, everything indicates that the Lakers will once again be one of the teams to consider in the NBA this year. However, all these doubts could start to grow and form a bigger and bigger snowball if things don’t start well. There is already talk of possible ego wars or age problems, but for now this is nothing but speculation. What is a reality is that Pelinka and his people have put together a project that is prepared to dream of everything.
The player to watch
We have said little about him so far, but this is his moment. LeBron James faces his 19th season in the NBA ready to show that he is still the king and that his mere presence continues to do contender to practically any team. However, after the season in which he played the fewest games of his career (he missed 27), one wonders what version of Akron’s forward we will see.
It is not as if doubting LeBron at this point in the movie makes any sense, but it is true that we have just seen one of his less excellent versions in the playoffs and we will have to see how he faces this new course with less than three months to go. reach 37 years. It will be interesting to see how it is dosed, when it gets its best face and how dominant it continues to be when push comes to shove. Much of the options for these Lakers are to find him 100%, and, being what he is, there is no doubt that he will be eager to mark territory with new legendary performances.
NBA preview 2021-22 Los Angeles Lakers, prediction
Elio Martínez, director of Trends Wide, leaves a personal and subjective forecast on what he thinks each franchise will do during the season in the NBA 2021-22 preview.
Previous team analyzed: Washington Wizards. Next team: Boston Celtics.
(Cover photo: Harry How / Getty Images)