NBA Daily: 2022-2023 Season Preview #8 – Los Angeles Lakers
By Reylan Loberternos
Fri, 23 Sep 2022
In this limited 30-part series, we shall be discussing each team’s latest developments, current roster, and future prospects in the upcoming 2022-2023 NBA season. For every team, we will examine bit-by-bit the important aspects that may shape its progress and provide a rough projection of how it will fare vis-à-vis its previous year’s performance and versus the rest of the league.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
2021-2022 Season Win-Loss Record:
PG – Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverly, Kendrick Nunn
SG – Dennis Shroeder, Austin Reaves, Lonnie Walker IV
SF – LeBron James, Troy Brown Jr., Juan Toscano-Anderson
PF – Anthony Davis, Wenyen Gabriel
CE – Thomas Bryant, Damian Jones,
No significant injuries.
Darvin Ham Sr.
LeBron James is 37 years old and though he still managed to average an amazing 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 6.2 assists on a nightly basis, it didn’t translate to wins. He still remains among the best players in the league, but if the Lakers’ performance last year was any indication, he can no longer do it on his own.
The Russell Westbrook experiment massively failed. Last year began with a promise of having three alphas in LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook forming a formidable trio of All Stars to catapult the Lakers back into title contention. Then Davis missed a total of 42 games, while James also missed 26 of his own, leaving Westbrook to absorb all the flak, even when he averaged a respectable 18.5 markers, 7.4 boards, and 7.1 dimes per game.
James may still be the Lakers’ best player, while Westbrook may be the most durable one, but it is without a shadow of doubt that the team’s chances will largely hinge on Davis’ health and his ability to stay healthy throughout the season. He is their best defender and rim protector, averaging 1.2 steals and 2.3 blocks per contest in the 40 games that he played.
The addition of Patrick Beverly and Dennis Shroder will certainly add stability to the Lakers’ backcourt, while the perimeter shooting and added dimension presented by Austin Reaves and the newly acquired Lonnie Walker IV will definitely help shore up their bench wing production.
It is still uncertain whether or not Westbrook remains a Laker, as the season unfolds. Will the proud franchise choose to restart the experiment, now that all the key cogs are healthy or will they opt to move in a different direction? Only time can tell.
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