The Los Angeles Lakers are off to an incredible start to the 2020-21 season after winning the championship that was accompanied by the shortest offseason in American sports history.
They’ll try to continue their excellent start as they face the Golden State Warriors. While head coach Steve Kerr, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green are with the team, he Warriors are in a bit of an awkward place as a franchise after winning three championships in five consecutive NBA Finals appearances.
Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and other major pieces left the team, and injuries to Klay Thompson left Curry to have to carry a relatively subpar roster. It’s a drastic difference from a Golden State roster that won 73 games during the 2016 season.
Kerr — when asked about the Lakers’ 11-3 start as defending champions — likened what he’s seeing to the 73-win Warriors, via Dieter Kurtenbach of the East Bay Times:
“I do know that when a team wins a championship, generally they come back the next year with more confidence. I imagine that’s what’s happening with the Lakers,” Kerr said Saturday.
“They have the confine that comes with winning a championship and they don’t have the fatigue that comes with winning multiple championships. This is really a sweet spot. It’s where we found ourselves the year we won 73. You come back and it’s almost like a continuation of your championship season. You’re on top of the world. Everybody’s happy. You add some layers to what you already did. [And you have] deeper confidence in what you’re doing.”
While it’s yet to be determined if this Lakers team has the same trajectory as that Warriors dynasty, they are playing top tier basketball to begin the season. Beyond just having the best record in the NBA, the Lakers are fourth in offensive rating, first in defensive rating, and first in net rating.
Frank Vogel pleased with Lakers starting lineup
All of the success from the Lakers’ first 14 games could make someone forget that they introduced five new players into their regular rotation, including two new starters. Despite the fact that the Lakers starting lineup is statistically one of the best in the NBA, head coach Frank Vogel is confident the unit can still improve.
“Obviously, A.D. and LeBron have great chemistry — and KCP — but with Dennis being in there and Marc, there’s definitely some positives in that lineup,” Vogel said.
“With Marc’s spacing and playmaking, what Dennis brings defensively and his cutting game and everything he brings to the table on both sides of the ball. But they’re definitely still learning each other as is our whole team.”
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