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Can the LA Lakers win back to back NBA Championships?

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The LA Lakers:

It’s been two months since LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers won the 2019/2020 NBA championship. Now the Lakers look stronger than ever, as they look to ensure another championship comes back to LA next time round.

In this article we take a look at what challenges the Lakers will face. This is in terms of opposition strength, and how their current recruitment can further help them in bringing back the NBA championship to Los Angeles.

 

 

Trades and current squad

Trades:

In the current off season, the Lakers have made quality acquisitions with the most notable incoming’s being current sixth man of the year Montrezl Harrell. Wesley Matthews from the Milwaukee Bucks also joins and a trade which saw the Lakers grab Dennis Schroder from Oklahoma City Thunder, with Danny Green going the opposite way.

Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell were both top two in scoring off the bench last season with Schroder averaging 18.91 PPG and Harrell averaging 18.62 PPG.  The Lakers scoring depth is now even greater than last year, with the additions of Matthews, who was integral in helping the Milwaukee Bucks have the best season record.

The addition of recent championship winner of Marc Gasol from Toronto helps also, as the roster looks to have more effective scorers and experienced championship DNA running through the team.

Current squad:

Role players such as Kentavious Caldwell Pope and Alex Caruso stepped up in crunch time for the Lakers in the finals against the Miami Heat. As well as the ever growing bond of super star pairing Anthony Davis and Lebron James. They will be hoping there experiences of playing together last season, can further help them on their course to win another championship in 2021.

In the 2020 finals against the Miami Heat, James averaged 29.8 points per game, 11.8 rebounds per game and 8.5 assists per game. Which helped him grab his fourth finals MVP of his career.  Lebron also finished top of the assists column for the whole season with an average of 10.6 assists a game.

Other superstar Anthony Davis, averaged 26 points in the regular season and averaged 9.3 rebounds per game as well.  The way Anthony Davis dominates both ends of the floor, with the clear MVP calibre ability Lebron James still has in his arsenal – the Lakers look set to be in an even stronger position than last year.

LeBron and Anthony Davis have both signed max extensions with the franchise. Lebron’s being an $85 million two year extension and Anthony Davis’ being a five year $190 million contract. With the confirmed signings of the two LA superstars, it adds more pressure to the franchise not just to go back to back, but to become a dynasty in the NBA.

 

 

The Opposition

Many pundits believed a fully fit Golden State warriors team, with their new number two pick James Wiseman, would be the team in the West to challenge the Lakers. But then Klay Thompson had another season-ending injury. Now it looks like too much of an ask for Stephen Curry to lead his team through a full 72 games season, and a gruelling play-off run at the end of it.

The LA Clippers will also compete for the number one seed against the Lakers next season. With many saying the reason they didn’t get to the western conference finals was because the team hadn’t got used to playing with each other yet.

The Clippers still have 2019 finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, who averaged 26.9 points per game in last seasons regular season. His partner Paul George also averaged 21 points per game last season.

With these two now having a season of playing together, we may now see the best of the Clippers when the season starts. The rise of superstar and future Hall of Famer Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks will also be a problem for the Lakers. LeBron James recently spoke of his admiration for Luka on the YouTube channel ‘Road Trippin’.

Biggest test

The biggest test for the LA Lakers from the East will be the Brooklyn Nets. Star players Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are back after they both had a spell on the side-lines with injuries.

The Nets will be hoping to challenge straight away for a championship but with Kevin Durant not playing a game since the 2019 finals, we still don’t know how effective he is. He hasn’t played for so long and we don’t know if his body will be able to cope with the demands of a long hard season against some tough competitors in the East.

The Milwaukee Bucks finished last season with the best record in the regular season, with a record of 56-17 record. But for the last couple of years they haven’t been able to find that form in the play offs.

The Bucks have added guard Jrue Holiday to the roster who had an average of 19.6 points per game in the regular season last year.  For the last couple of years the Bucks have relied too much on All stars Khris Middleton and two time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to win them close games.

However, with the addition of a consistent scorer like Jrue Holiday, the Bucks will be hoping they can build a serious championship challenge this time out.

 

 

Overall Judgement

Overall, with the signings of superstar pairing Anthony Davis and LeBron James to max contract extensions, the Lakers look set to continue there dominance in the NBA. Not just next season, but more for many more seasons to come.

With arrivals of more productive and youthful players such as Harrell and Schroder and the departure of veterans such as JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard, the future of success looks even greater. Now Lakers fans can see their is a clear pathway in which a dynasty can be created in the near future. That is if James and Davis can continue to implement there dominance in the league.

Key players are missing for teams such as Golden State, and key players who have been missing for over a season like Kevin Durant for the Brooklyn Nets. On the other hand, the LA Lakers are there with a championship experienced team. And they look in better shape than ever before to bring the Larry O’Brian Trophy back to Los Angeles.

 

 

We hope you enjoyed the article ‘Can the LA Lakers win back to back NBA championships?’ Who do you think will win the 2020-21 NBA season, will it be the LA Lakers? Let us know what you think! 

 

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I'm a second year sports journalism student at Staffordshire University and my main passions are football and basketball.

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