In his final meeting with best friend LeBron James, Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade also got an up close look at the new Los Angeles Lakers team.
After a slow start, the Lakers now sit right in the thick of the Western Conference race as their young core works to blend with the veterans the team brought in this offseason. That combination, along with the adjustment of playing with a ball-dominant star like James has made for some growing pains so far this season.
Wade sees plenty of promise in the young Lakers however, and believes they are already getting better. “Your team is just coming together,” he said after the Lakers’ 108-105 win.
“Take the first 20 games and see where you’re at, then the next 20. You try to continue to keep growing. They’ve grown from the beginning of the season. You just want to see how they progress throughout this year.”
Progression and growth for the Lakers young core has always been the plan, but as Wade knows it always helps to have James when all else fails.
“They should be very confident knowing that they got [LeBron] on their team,” he said. “The things he was able to do tonight, the shots he hit, the way he can take over a game. That’s comforting knowing that you have that.”
Wade’s praise stretched far beyond his best friend, as he sees big things for the Lakers’ young core and the franchise as a whole.
“And then Kuzma, hell of a player. Hart, hell of a player. They got the right kind of players here with Lonzo Ball being a guy that’s able to facilitate,” Wade noted. “Doesn’t need to score to have a great game.
“They just got to continue. Experience is the key for them. As the season goes on, they will get more of it. I have no doubt this team will be in the Finals at some point. This guy can play for as long as he want, and I’ll be here to see it.”
The Lakers back in the NBA Finals is what fans are waiting for. If Wade is to be believed, they shouldn’t have to wait too much longer.