Lakers News: Restart Woes, Betting Odds, and Important Takeaways
Alex Caruso
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Considered one of the top teams all season, the Los Angeles Lakers played with varying results through the NBA restart. The Lakers at times looking dominant, but more often looking either disinterested or disorganized. There were some serious concerns rippling through the fan base while bettors who had been sold on the Laker’s dominance were suddenly uncertain. In fact, the wagering action was so impacted that BetMGM created this bonus code to drum up interest. Fortunately, betters were able to leverage the bonus code as the Lakers headed into the playoffs.

Key Takeaways From The Lakers Restart

LeBron James alone makes the Lakers a team to beat in the NBA. Add in Anthony Davis and they might become “the team” to beat. However, playoff good fortune often revolves around team depth, with the Los Angeles Clippers and Toronto Raptors being prime examples.

Kyle Kuzma-Emerging Third Best Offensive

While the Lakers two of the best NBA players in their ranks in James and Davis, all successful teams have a third or fourth scoring option. In the case of Los Angeles, Kyle Kuzma has emerged as the third scoring option. Since the restart, Kuzma has made the most of almost every scoring opportunity and his confidence is soaring.

“For me, just trying to get out of that corner. When I’m in the corner, it’s kind of tough for me to do certain things, so I’m just trying to move around more and punish them.” – Kyle Kuzma

Bonus? Kuzma’s defense. In the bubble, opponents are shooting only 43.5 percent from the field against him.

JaVale McGee Falls down the Pecking Order

McGee made some unforgivable mistakes after the restart, so much that fans have been questioning his game IQ. Worse, the match-up against a smaller and quicker Houston team during the second round has reduced both his and Dwight Howards playing time. It will be interesting to see which of the two emerges when Lakers coach Frank Vogel moves to use a larger line-up.

James Holds The Key To The Championship

It has been obvious that James has been pacing himself since the restart. However, with the start of the playoffs and fewer minutes distributed through the lineup, it’s apparent that he’s still the key player for Los Angeles. Having earned the tag of the current best basketball player on the planet doesn’t come without responsibility. The Lakers will certainly go and James goes.

Dion Waiters Is Becoming Indispensable

While Dion Waiters has not put up impressive numbers, Waiters was key for Los Angeles. His court minutes kept either Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum busy on defense, which served to impact their offensive game. While it’s true that Waiters may not be as important against the Clippers or the Bucks down the road, but he was key against Portland and is likewise causing problems for the Houston Rockets.

Alex Caruso An Unlikely Leader

Rajon Rondo sums it all up.

“So his growth, his confidence, coming into these types of environments, playing against Dame, CJ, Westbrook and Harden, he’s taken the challenge. He’s never backed down from anybody when I’ve seen him play, and I love playing with him. He’s a great guy to have on the floor, a great teammate. He’s always vocal, and he knows what he’s talking about.” – Rajon Rondo on Alex Caruso

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