In terms of today’s NBA its a new day yes it is. With Kawhi Leonard choosing the Los Angeles Clippers there is balance in the NBA. In order to be in contention for an NBA Title, it appears you need at least one thing. Have a star duo. The Los Angeles Lakers have just that. The duo of Lebron James and Anthony Davis look to guide the Lakers back to the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Here are three reasons why the Lakers will finish in the top two.
1. Star power
Now normally having Lebron on your team is enough to get you to the playoffs. However, in the West, you need a little more than just one star. Last season was the first time James missed the playoffs since 2004 which was his rookie season as the Lakers finished 37-45. So what did the Lakers do? They went out and acquired arguably the best big man in the game in Anthony Davis.
The Brow averaged 25.9 points and 12 rebounds last season in New Orleans. In his seven years in New Orleans, he led the Pelicans to two playoff appearances. Now united in LA the Lakers have their superstar duo. Combined the two averaged 53.3 points and 20.5 rebounds, 12.2 assists and three blocks per game last year. With the super team era over and the duo era here, the Lakers have a duo that can power them through the West.
2. Improved depth
The Lakers were all in on trying to acquire Kawhi. But when Leonard chose the Clippers it appeared the Lakers had missed out on potential good signings. However, that wasn’t the case. Immediately shifting into plan B the Lakers made several quality signings to help fill out their roster. Davis will be reunited with former teammate DeMarcus Cousins as the two dominated in New Orleans combining to average 53.3 points and 24 rebounds in their one full season together.
The team also signed Quinn Cook, Jared Dudley, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo, Danny Green, Avery Bradley, JaVale McGee, and Troy Daniels. The Lakers have filled out a roster of great two way players. Bradley and Green are two of the best and Dudley is one of those grit players that can get under your skin. This is far better than the depth the Lakers had last year. When Lebron and Lonzo went down to injury the team really struggled to stay afloat as Lance Stephenson and Josh Hart were the best options off the bench. This season the Lakers are far more prepared to deal with injuries.
3. Improved coaching
The last of the three reasons is coaching. The Lakers fired Luke Walton after he was not able to get the Lakers back to the playoffs. Now it certainly was not all his fault but it appeared the former Lakers forward had worn out his welcome. In comes Frank Vogel who has experienced playoff success. He coached up the Indiana Pacers and helped get them to the Eastern Conference Finals two straight years where they fell to James and the Big Three in Miami both times. He then coached the Orlando Magic for two seasons before being fired.
The coaching staff also features Jason Kidd who was the former coach for the Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks taking them both to the playoffs in his first year. Both bringing a lot of experience should help the Lakers when it comes time in the playoffs. This team is filled with veterans from on the court to on the bench who know what it takes to win.
Three reasons the Lakers finish in the top 2
With the Golden State Warriors no longer the guaranteed Western Conference Champions this year will be fun. There are eight teams who have a legit shot at reaching the NBA Finals just in the West alone.
With these three reasons and If Anthony Davis remains healthy and James is able to keep up his pace the Lakers have the potential to go 55-27 and reach the Western Conference Finals. There they very well could meet the Clippers for a trip to the Finals.