Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Finals

Can the 37-Year Old Lebron Lead the Lakers to the NBA Finals?

At 37 years of age, Lebron James is one of the league’s oldest players yet he continues to be one of the NBA’s best players. The Los Angeles Lakers point forward averaged 30.3 points a game last season; coming in second to only Joel Embiid for the league’s scoring title.

For all of his individual success last season, his Lakers team couldn’t crack the NBA Playoffs with a less than impressive 33-49 record. The organization still very much believes in King James as they extended the future first ballot Hall of Famer for two more years.

Can LeBron Still Carry A Team To Playoff Glory?

Though no one is doubting LeBron’s superpowers on the court, the consensus coming from the talking heads is that the Lakers will find themselves outside of the postseason picture again for the upcoming 2022-23 season. The question isn’t about LeBron’s abilities but can his abilities lead a imperfect Lakers squad not only into the NBA Playoffs, but into the NBA Finals?

We’ve seen one of the league’s GOATs carry a couple Cleveland Cavs rosters into the NBA Finals and helping the franchise to the city’s first NBA championship. Are you Lakers or bust? You can place a wager on the LA Lakers right now at a number of fully licensed Pennsylvania online sportsbetting sites.

Here’s the things that need to happen for the Los Angeles Lakers to make the NBA Finals this season:

Stay Injury Free: First and foremost, they have to be healthy for the season. This means LeBron, Anthony Davis and all their core players to develop some form of chemistry. For an aging roster like the Lakers have, this could translate into some load management for LeBron, Davis, and Russell Westbrook.

LeBron James: They need a superhuman season from LeBron – one that isn’t about numbers. At his best, LeBron has proven that he can run an offensive system to himself. He not only needs to score and pass at at least the rate he did last season, but he needs to have a sense of urgency when the game needs him the most.

Anthony Davis has proved that he’s not a primary player that can lead a team deep into the playoffs, but the Lakers will need him healthy and looking for his shot if the Lakers have any chance of a deep playoff run. Offensively, Davis can’t go entire games shooting fewer than 10 shots and defensively, he needs to hold it down. Of all the players on the Lakers roster, he’s the one in his prime and he needs to play like it. Oh, and he needs to be healthy, too.

Russell Westbrook has the biggest ask and that being Westbrook needs to change his mindset. He can forget about averaging a triple double with the Lakers. Russ needs to re-focus his energy into playing defense, attacking the basket, drive and kicks, and complimenting AD and LeBron.  That doesn’t mean Westbrook’s all-star days are over, but if he can narrow his game plan to a role player, he can still efficiently tally 16 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists a game. If the Lakers are winning, those can be all-star numbers. Those numbers aren’t far off his 18.5 ppg, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists from last season.

Chemistry: In any given season 25 of the 30 NBA teams actually have enough talent to compete for the NBA Playoffs, but every season 7-8 of those teams have chemistry issues that doesn’t allow for them to compete consistently. The Lakers are one of those teams. They clearly have the players and talent, but not every player is on the same page. Westbrook wasn’t ready to relinquish the idea that he was a superstar. Davis still doesn’t know how to play aggressively. And so on and so forth. Oh yeah, Westbrook and newly-acquired Patrick Beverley are going to have to work things out.

Even if everything goes their way, it’s a uphill battle for the Lakers this next season as they’ll have to contend with a much-improved Western Conference. The Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas Mavericks, and Denver Nuggets are predicted to be locks for the post season. That means the Lakers will have to battle it out with a Minnesota Timberwolves that added Rudy Gobert, a New Orleans Pelicans team that sees Zion Williamson return, and a Damian Lillard-led Portland team.

 

 

 

 

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