Monday, November 28, 2022

The Lakers are called upon to go all-in on the Championship Push

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This season hasn’t started the way the Los Angeles Lakers would have hoped, and it’s clear that some of last season’s issues are still prevalent in the team’s roster.

As such, Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz believes Rob Pelinka and the Lakers’ front office should put their remaining trade chips at the center of potential trade negotiations in hopes of landing some fresh talent who will help Los Angeles vie for a championship this season to fight.

“The Lakers shouldn’t be fooled by their moderate success when Russell Westbrook came off the bench and believe this team can fight for a championship, which is the only thing that matters as LeBron James turns 38 next month . This roster needs a lot more shooting, perimeter defense, and a touch of playmaking to even be considered a playoff lockout in the West, areas that can only be improved upon by delivering Westbrook and future first-round picks… just to get a play- Fighting in Spot shouldn’t be good enough for (LeBron) James, Anthony Davis and company,” Swartz wrote.

The Lakers are currently 14th in the Western Conference after a 2-6 start to the season. So if they stay on their current course, they will miss the postseason for the second season in a row.

Despite Los Angeles’ poor start to the season, Anthony Davis still believes many teams in the league are afraid to take on the Purple and Gold simply because of the amount of talent on the Lakers roster.

Interviewed by ESPN’s Dave McMenaminthe star forward has been optimistic in his belief that the Lakers are still a force.

“We have a lot of people that the teams have to take care of. We are not the team that our record shows. But every night our team can play and explode very well. I know teams certainly fear us,” Davis said.

Having a collection of elite talent is one thing, but finding ways to enable them to thrive is quite another thing — as the Lakers are quickly finding out. However, if Darvin Ham can continue to streamline his rotations and Los Angeles continue to engage defensively, the Lakers still have a chance for this roster to develop and become something special.

When the Lakers faced the rebuild Utah Jazz on November 4, they gave up 130 points in a regulation-time loss as their defense fell to the lowest point of the season. Speaking to the media after the game, LeBron James insisted that the Lakers’ best chance of success this season lies in a defensive identity.

“We don’t want it to never happen, but there are some games over the course of an 82-game season where you obviously just don’t have it defensively. And we didn’t have it for 48 minutes. We had it in spurts. But we know we have to defend ourselves to win. And I think we had a 50-40-90 offense tonight and still lost. That’s why I said earlier in the season that it’s not about offense, we have to defend. Of course we have to take shots but if we defend we give ourselves a better chance of winning.” said LeBron.

The Lakers currently sit 5th in defensive standings, so it’s obvious that LeBron wants his teammates to continue to set the tone on that side of the floor, rather than get bogged down in trying to improve their offensive numbers. The Lakers will be back in action on Sunday, November 6 when they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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