The Los Angeles Lakers — among some doubt — remained one of the league’s best and most consistent teams throughout the course of the 2019-20 season. While pundits projected the L.A. Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks and others to finish ahead of the Lakers in the standings and in the playoff picture, the duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis proved to be simply too dominant.
During the regular season, L.A. was top five in offensive, defensive and net rating. Two other teams achieved this feat — the Clippers and the Boston Celtics — but neither finished as high as the Lakers in any of those categories.
The Lakers held the NBA’s best field goal percentage during the regular season, while additionally ending up in the top three in blocked shots and assists.
None of these stats even comes close to their most impressive figure, however. The Lakers, through the regular season and NBA Finals, finished the year a whopping 57-0 when leading after three quarters. They became the first team in NBA history to never blow a fourth-quarter lead.
In addition, L.A. was a perfect 16-0 during the entirety of the season when holding their opponent under 99 points. That’s further example of defense being the catalyst for a majority of their success this season.
All of the things that made the Lakers so great during the 2019-20 season culminated at once in Game 6 of the Finals, arguably the most complete performance of the season. They held a 64-36 halftime lead, which was good for the second-largest halftime lead in a Finals game.
And though the Lakers didn’t quite fulfill their mantra of not wanting to lose consecutive games during the regular season, they followed through on that during the playoffs. Overall, L.A. went 17-6 (5-0 in the playoffs) in games following a loss.
Three of those defeats came during a four-game losing streak in December and two came during a three-game losing skid in the seeding play, when the Lakers weren’t yet at their peak.
All in all, the numbers show that no one should be surprised by the Lakers winning the championship this season. They were one of the most consistent teams all year, using their chemistry and defense to outwork opponents and leaning on their superstars when they needed to.
Frank Vogel discusses moment he knew Lakers could win championship
The Lakers — despite having almost an entirely remade roster and new head coach — were a great team right off the bat. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel identified two separate stretches he knew the Lakers could be the team to win it all.
“I think we came out of the gate so strong, October, November, whenever this year began. Obviously on paper we felt like we had a team that we felt could compete for the championship,” Vogel said.
“We came out of the gate strong and lost the first game, and I think went 17-1 after that and started thinking about we could do something special. I think the weekend where we beat Milwaukee and the Clippers was huge for our internal confidence, that we could and were going to reach our goal.
“I would say probably those two moments, the way we came out of the gate, and that weekend before the hiatus hit.”
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