It’s been a roller coaster ride for the purple and gold over the last five months. The Lakers will roll into the ‘19-‘20 season with a completely revamped roster.
Regular Season Prediction: 52-30 (4th in West)
PG) Avery Bradley
SG) Danny Green
SF) LeBron James
PF) Anthony Davis
C) Javale McGee
PG) Rajon Rondo/Alex Caruso
SG) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope/Quinn Cook/Troy Daniels
SF) Kyle Kuzma/Talen Horton-Tucker
PF) Jared Dudley/Kostas Antetokounmpo
C) Dwight Howard
The reason: The Lakers are so much more talented now than they were last season. Barring a barrage of injuries, this team is a near lock to make the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. While 52 wins may seem low for a team that possesses this much skill, one would think that there will be games every now and then when the starters won’t play due to “load management.” Still, they should do just enough to be able to secure home court advantage for the first round of the playoffs.
The Good: The Lakers are (mostly) healthy for the first time in a long time. While they may not be as deep as some of the other league contenders, they stockpiled their roster with 3-point shooters, a couple of underrated defenders, and veterans with championship experience. They also boast two of the top five players in the league. The new coaching staff has a ton of experience overall and that should come in handy over the course of the regular season/playoffs.
The Bad: The Lakers are playing in a brutal Western Conference. There are legitimately seven teams out West that have a shot to make it to the Finals. Furthermore, the team lost DeMarcus Cousins before he was able to play even a minute for the team. Cousins was an X-factor that could have potentially made life for LeBron James and Anthony Davis easier. The team will also need to monitor Kyle Kuzma as he continues to recover from an ankle injury.
What to watch for: With Cousins missing a big part of the season (or possibly all of it), the Lakers will have to hope that Dwight Howard can be productive. The big question is, will Howard stay in line or will he become a distraction for a team with aspirations of playing in June?
Overall: Just making the playoffs is not good enough for this Los Angeles franchise. The ultimate goal has always been to win an NBA championship. This squad certainly has the talent to win it all this season. Whether or not they will remains to be seen.
Jose has written for Bleacher Report, Clipperholics, OC Weekly and wrote a series of articles covering the 2010 NBA Finals for the LA Times. He lives in Southern California and is excited to watch thePeachBasket grow!