Fact or Fiction: Los Angeles Lakers

Fact or Fiction: Los Angeles Lakers

by August 25, 2021 0 comments

Many questions exist for the newly constructed Los Angeles Lakers. Some are easier to answer than others. Discussion points include can their star players co-exist, are they too old, and where do they stand among NBA contenders?

We’ve got you covered with our Fact or Fiction series. It features the boldest and biggest claims being made about the Lakers and provides a decisive fact or fiction. First up is the discussion regarding how their newest star will fit next to the face of the franchise.

Make sure to check out all of our other Fact or Fiction articles.

LeBron James and Russell Westbrook can co-exist on the same team

The Lakers decision to trade for Russell Westbrook seemingly came out of nowhere. After the shock value wore off the questions naturally started to get asked.

Anyone with eyes can tell you Russ and LeBron aren’t the most natural of fits on the court. Both have had their share of issues shooting the ball. Both are also ball-dominant players who prefer having control of the offense.

That naturally makes one wonder what will happen when they’re on the court for extended periods of time together. Will it work? Can it work?

Simply put – Yes, it can and will. At least for the regular season. At this point in his career, LeBron will adapt to make his game fit around Westbrook. That’s why you can expect a dip in LeBron’s numbers for the first time in a long time.

Westbrook will be asked to do more and that will take the pressure off both LeBron and Davis. When they share the court it will take creativity but expect most of those minutes to feature Davis at the five to spread the floor.

Verdict: Fact, Westbrook and James can co-exist

The Los Angeles Lakers are too old as currently constructed

One of the main talking points as the Lakers built their roster around the newly acquired Westbrook and James and Anthony Davis was – ‘Are they building too old of a team?’ Everyone had a joke to make about roster age after signings like Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Trevor Ariza.

The question is, are those jokes actual issues or just easy to make jokes? The Lakers only have a handful of players 26 years old or younger that could be key pieces in their rotation. Those players are Talen Horton-Tucker, Malik Monk and Kendrick Nunn.

Outside of that, almost everyone in their rotation will be closer to 40 years old than 30 years old. That has some questioning if things will work out for the aging roster. LeBron doesn’t seem overly concerned with it and that is a big reason I am not concerned.

The Lakers have players that have been key pieces to their teams in years prior who are now taking on much lesser roles. That is why they can be trusted to step up if one of LeBron, Davis or Westbrook misses time. Further, if one veteran is missing time the others will be more than capable of stepping up to fill the void.

While the age of their roster could be an issue when thinking about long-term success, it simply isn’t something to worry about this season.

Verdict: Fiction, the Lakers aren’t too old (For right now at least).

The Los Angeles Lakers should be considered one of the favorites for the 2021-22 NBA Championship

After failing to make it out of the first round last season in the NBA Playoffs it would usually be fair to ask if the Lakers are truly among the best teams in the league. For two reasons that question is not right to ask yet.

First, they were missing arguably their best player and easily their second-best player in the playoffs. Second, this team has undergone a major makeover that makes them a much deeper team than they were one year ago.

With five future Hall of Famers in their rotation, good luck arguing this team is not a title contender this year. Additionally, they have to be considered among the favorites to walk away with the championship trophy when the season wraps up.

There is far too much talent and proven production to not consider the Lakers among the championship favorites entering the 2021-22 NBA season.

Verdict: Fact, the Lakers should be considered one of the favorites for the 2021-22 NBA Championship

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