the 5 big questions of the Los Angeles Lakers

Each season the NBA brings its share of questions and intrigues. It’s the same thing all the time, a few days before the recovery. Which player will perform? Which coach will be fired? Who am I ? In which shelf? Where squash? For each of the 30 franchises, we have selected the 5 major questions for 2022-23: the seat of the day is allocated to the Los Angeles Lakers.

#1: Will Anthony Davis play more than 60 games this season?

36 and 40, that’s the number of games played by Anthony Davis over the last two regular seasons. Already known for his repeated sores from New Orleans time, the Brow has unfortunately tended to spend more time in the infirmary than on the court in recent months. Complicated under these conditions for the Lakers to aim for the heights and this often forces LeBron James to have to multiply to save the ship. If the Angelinos were able to win the title in 2020, it was because they had a Davis in shape, capable of chaining games and big performances. This AD from two years ago already seems a long way off, whether for his health record or even his achievements on the pitch. If LA wants to come back to the fore, it goes above all through an Anthony Davis who is on fire.

#2: How long before Russell Westbrook is transferred?

Announced in a thousand transfer rumors during the summer, Russell Westbrook is still a Lakers player at the time of writing these lines. However, we feel strongly that its leaders would not say no to the idea of ​​​​finding it another land of welcome. The proof, Patrick Beverley and Dennis Schröder landed in the City of Angels during the offseason. A nice way to say that the next generation is already ready but yet Brodie is still not traded. Will this be the case before the start of the season? Hard to say but it seems complicated to imagine such a full backcourt over time, especially since it has never been mad love between Pat Beverley and Russell Westbrook. A first challenge for the new coach, Darvin Ham.

#3: Will Darvin Ham hold his group better than Frank Vogel?

In 2020, we all swung the praises on Frank Vogel, able to hold a group with two superstars and avoid dramas in a city that only asks for it. Two years later, the defeats and frustration brought out the old demons of Los Angeles and we were once again treated to the famous papers on the headaches between so and so. In search of new impetus, management therefore sent Vogel to Pole Emploi and entrusted the keys to the truck to Darvin Ham. This former player, champion with Detroit in 2004, has solid experience as an assistant (with Mike Budenholzer) but this is his first position as number one and the Lakers absolutely must react this season. Expectations are therefore high in LA and the new chief architect will have to make his group adhere to his precepts of play, in particular his stars. If he puts LeBron, AD and Russ (if he stays) in his pocket, he will have already taken a big step forward.

#4: What night will LeBron become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer?

1325 points, that’s what separates LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the ranking of the best all-time scorers. Over a season of 82 games, this represents around 16 points on average, in other words it’s a piece of cake for a player like the King. So the question is not whether LBJ will overtake KAJ but rather WHEN he will do it? For example, shooting at 25 points per game, it would take him exactly 53 games to reach his rival. It must of course be taken into account that the winger can plant more points than that, but also that injuries can also delay his plans. Hard to know the exact day when the record will jump but bet without risk on the second part of the season. A great moment in history will be written this season in the NBA.

#5: Play-in, Playoffs… or both?

The Lakers’ roster is not finalized and several moves may still occur in LA, but as things stand, what can the Lakers aim for? On paper, the simple fact of being able to line up LeBron James and Anthony Davis is enough to make the Angelinos a contender, but injuries have plagued the stars for two years, the workforce around is far from providing as many guarantees as that of 2020 and the competition is always stronger in the West (Clippers, Wolves in particular). Are the Purple and Gold candidates for the final Top 8? Obviously. Will they be there at the end of the regular season? It’s not sure and the King’s friends may have to go through the Play-in Tournament to get a place in the elite in the West. In any case, the Angelinos will have to take out the blue heater.

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