Coming off a championship season with its core in tact, the Lakers’ addition of the two top 6th men in the NBA (Harrell/Schroder), a former defensive POY and prolific passer (Gasol), a 3 & D stalwart (Wes Mathews) and a young surprise star (THT) has this roster looking more than solid.
As the 2020-2021 Lakers finish up their pre-season, fans are giddy over what could be the best Laker roster of our lifetime. That is saying a lot given that past Laker teams had multiple hall of famers blended in with legendary rotation players, but this team seems like it could be just that good. The roster has all the ingredients that are necessary for a legendary season. Let’s break it down:
Any team with Lebron James and Anthony Davis on the roster has all the star power you need. The Lakers return the star championship duo, who should only be better after having played together for a full season.
Wesley Mathews, Dennis Schroder and Marc Gasol are upgrades from beyond the arc when compared to Denny Green, Avery Bradley and Dwight/McGee. Alex Caruso and Kyle Kuzma are also likely to show some improvement from the outside as the pair is said to have been working hard on their shooting. Markieff Morris showed his prowess from the outside in the Bubble last season, helping the Lakers control the game in some key moments as they went on to the NBA Championship.
AD and Lebron were elite defensively last season. Add former defensive POY Marc Gasol and the NBA leader in charges taken (Montrez Harrell) to the front court and you have a solid defensive core. In the backcourt, Wes Matthews was one of the best wing defenders in the NBA last season when taking into account advance defensive metrics and fellow new acquisition Dennis Schroder is a very capable wing defender. Up and coming youngster Talen Horton-Tucker has incredibly long arms and is very athletic, both traits that will be helpful on the defensive end. Alex Caruso is another above average defender who plays a great team defense and Kyle Kuzma made great strides on that end of the court last season. The cream of the crop, Markieff Morris, is a junkyard dog who will make sure the Lakers
Adding Schroder, Harrell and THT really helps inject some young legs into the roster. The Lakers are now much more athletic a team than they were a season ago.
It’s always tough to build chemistry when you lose a few rotation players (Dwight, Green, McGee), but Lebron and AD proved last season that chemistry flows from the top, and the pair have proven their ability to get a roster all on the same page. James’ jovial nature and willingness as a passer will no doubt speed up the chemistry formation of this group
Frank Vogel has proven himself as an elite coach, capable of crafting a defensive scheme and getting buy in from the game’s biggest stars in Lebron and AD. Look for him to put his stamp even harder on the club in his second season as the head coach.