After a long and eventful summer, the 2019-20 NBA regular season is almost here.
For the Los Angeles Lakers, the upcoming season brings renewed hope they can return to the top of the NBA mountain. After trading for Anthony Davis over the summer, the Lakers should be a tough task for any team to deal with.
On this episode of the Lakers Nation Podcast, host Trevor Lane is joined by Greg Bergman of Dodger Blue and ESPN Los Angeles to talk about the upcoming season.
Over the course of the 2019 NBA preseason, the Lakers have fluctuated between looking dominant and struggling on both ends of the floor. So far, the blueprint for success has involved defending at a high level with a starting lineup of Avery Bradley, Danny Green, LeBron James, Davis, and JaVale McGee. Bradley and Green are able to pester opposing perimeter players into bad decisions while McGee and Davis, who both possess 7’6″ wingspans, make things difficult on anyone attacking the rim.
With this group’s focus on defense (James has even been much more locked-in and determined to get stops), the Lakers can force turnovers and get easier scoring opportunities in transition. This is particularly important because of the number of new faces on the team this season. Chemistry takes time to develop on the offensive end, so any easier scoring opportunities on the break or due to mismatches as opponents scramble to defend are a welcome sight.
However, as good as the Lakers have looked for stretches, they aren’t a complete team. One thing that appears to be missing is another wing defender, someone who can provide some length on the defensive end and floor spacing on the other. Kyle Kuzma would fit that bill but is currently coming back from a stress reaction and hasn’t progressed to full-contact practice yet, leaving his availability for Opening Night in serious doubt.
When Kuzma is available to get back on the floor, he should make a major impact and could very well be the piece that pushes the Lakers to another level of play.
Finally, the NBA’s annual general manager survey was released and it was full of praise for the L.A. Clippers as well as some surprisingly low rankings for the Lakers. Is there an anti-Lakers bias or something else going on?
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