The 2018-19 Los Angeles Lakers are the second best team in the West and should take the top spot in the next year or two.
Although they rank fourth in the current standings, the Lakers are second only to the defending Champion Golden State Warriors. The Lakers going through a lot in the early stages of the NBA season. There’s injuries, new faces, and just flat out inexperience. This is the third time Lebron James has joined a new team and yet again fans have overreacted in the first few months of the season. Right now the Lakers are still learning to play with each other. This happened in Miami where Lebron was playing with two other all stars. This happened when he went back to Cleveland and was again playing with two other all stars. As of right now, there are no players close to the caliber of a Dwyane Wade or a Kyrie Irving in LA, so it is going to take a bit longer for everyone to adjust.
Injuries have been a problem for Los Angeles pretty early on. They lost starting point guard Rajon Rondo 11 games into the season and have been playing without power forward Brandon Ingram since December 5th. That’s two huge parts of the team gone. Rondo is a veteran who has lead teams to the playoffs and of course was the starting point guard on the 2008 NBA champions, the Boston Celtics. He is a floor general and has one of the highest basketball IQs in the league. Brandon Ingram is a third year player who was just starting to come into his own last season. He’s reminiscent of a young Kevin Durant. Brandon was averaging 15 points per game before he sprained his ankle. He is a massive offensive weapon that this team needs. Ingram is one of the only players on the Lakers that can create his own shot. Both of these player can take the pressure off Lebron, allowing him to save his minutes and be healthier come playoff time.
Once Lebron James signed to Los Angeles, Magic has signed players left and right. He brought in Rondo, McGee, and even Stephenson. It will take time for all this new talent to gel. Especially when some of them are characters like Rondo and Stephenson. They’ve got time; after all, real basketball doesn’t start until May and no one knows that more than Lebron. Right now the team’s playing get-to-know-you ball. Come playoff time, the Lakers will be on the same page with the same goal.
Despite the injuries, the Lakers are one of the best offensive ranked teams in the league, which means in time they will be downright scary. The Laker’s offense is only going to get more efficient as Kuzma and Ingram develop. They’re currently playing the third fastest pace in the NBA at 102.8; this is a team no one outside of the Wariors and maybe the Bucks can keep up with.
Everyone knows this season is a forgone conclusion, it’s just a matter of time until the Warriors are holding the trophy and celebrating again. But if Magic can keep this Lakers team together, either next season or the one after that, Lebron will be raising his fourth NBA title.
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