The Lakers are either a legendary team or a bandwagon fan destination for much of the nation – there’s no in between. They tend to receive either praise or eye-rolls. In recent years though, the Lakers have been struggling. They’ve missed the playoffs for five straight seasons and they don’t have any true veteran players. But now that they’ve got Lebron on the team, can they turn things around? Are they the only potential roadblock to the Warriors’ world domination? Just how good will the Lakers be this season? The internet is full of speculating experts, pundits, and fans. Here’s what we think… and where you can find cheap Lakers tickets.
How big is the Lebron factor?
If you ask the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Miami Heat (or their respective fan bases), the answer to that question is “pretty darn big.” When Lebron signed with the Lakers through 2022, he didn’t come in humble, trying to learn the team’s culture or expecting to defer to players who had been there longer. He was brought on to be a leader on and off the court. He’s the top dog. And on a team of youthful players, he’s doing his job by carrying them to the forefront of the Western Conference.
But don’t forget, Lebron is 33 and playing in his 16th season in the NBA. He might still be amazing, but he can’t play 100% of the time. The Lakers still need a star number-two player to give him a breather. They’ve got a few options, but between Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Kyle Kuzma, it doesn’t look like they’ve quite found it yet. These young guys need a bit more time and experience to live up to their undoubtedly massive potential.
One more thing. Lebron often performs better when he’s got shooters – particularly three-point shooters – surrounding him. He can feed them the ball, and he’s able to put his teammates in a position to excel, even if they don’t always execute. So yeah, the Lakers still need to work on achieving that.
It also looks like the Lakers plan to acquire at least one new free “star” agent in the coming seasons to make sure they improve. But it’s up in the air whether Lebron’s presence on the team will help or hurt them when it comes to attracting those big-time players. Because when Lebron’s on a team, you’re not going to be the star. He decides your role. Former teammate Kevin Love says it’s hard and you’ve gotta be resilient to play with Lebron, but overall, he’d recommend the experience: “LeBron makes sure you have a chance to win every year. He’s gotten a lot of guys rings. You’re going to win at the highest level.”
Others are saying that if the Lakers can just snag Kevin Durant, then they’ll be unstoppable. Remember, Lebron is playing for a team that has no other NBA All-Stars on its roster. (And just FYI, despite the talk, the Lakers aren’t keen on acquiring Carmelo Anthony. Yet.)
Lebron is already starting on his quest to take the Lakers to the next level. He’s averaging over 28 points a game, a team-best since Kobe Bryant. Right now, the Lakers are fifth in the Western Conference, with a tough game against the Heat tonight. It’s clear that when Lebron comes to a new team, he’s there for one purpose: to help them win a ring. He did it for the Heat and the Cavs, but can he do it for this young Lakers team?
We think so, but maybe give him a couple seasons.
But can they beat the Warriors?
The Golden State Warriors are the darlings of the NBA and they seem to be on course to hang another banner this year. As their Pacific Division opponents, the Lakers will come to know them pretty well over the season. But do they have a chance at taking down that dynasty? Kobe Bryan certainly thinks so, but we’re not so sure.
It’s very possible that the Warriors will win their third title in a row this season. After all, they beat Lebron and the Cavs the last three of four years he was there. And keep in mind that the Warriors have all of their best players coming back: Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and the addition of big man DeMarcus Cousins. They’re a force to be reckoned with for sure.
We’ll say this. Most people think the Lakers will make the playoffs this season. So there’s that. And if Lebron’s supporting cast can improve, they may be able to do some damage while there. Will they unseat the Warriors? Probably not this year. But hey, we can keep watching to see…