A Final Word on the Laker’s 2023 Season

The Lakers had an amazing end of season run following a wonderful trade that brought several good players to L.A. It seems that they lacked a solid center for the Western Conference final when they ran into a superstar center (Nikola Jokic) for the Nuggets. In the championship bubble season the Lakers still had Dwight Howard whom had been one on the leagues best rebounders and defensive players at the position that became the Laker’s Achilles heel easily exploited by the Nuggets.

James is nearing forty yet he still scored 40 points in game four. He would have needed to score 60 points for the Lakers to win; in each game. Anthony Davis is a hybrid player who goes well against teams without a strong star center. He isn’t a corner shooter and driving forward like Rick Barry or Larry Bird, and isn’t a good enough shooter as a forward to play the position like they, Magic Johnson or Julius Erving did. Neither is he solid, durable or tall enough to play the center role like Shaq, Wilt or Kareem when running into a Jokic. Davis can put the ball in the hoop inside and out against the majority of teams. If Davis played just one forward position for the Lakers his value could be optimized. If the Lakers can keep Lebron around for 30 off the bench now and then, retain four of the present guards, as well as Vanderbilt and Gabriel, and find that strong, tall center defender and rebounder able to fill the gap in the key they might be able to make it to the N.B.A. finals next year.

If the Lakers haven’t good draft choices maybe they should go to Africa, Eastern Europe and South America to advertise for guys that meet the physical attributes required for center and give them an audition. Training some non-basketball player to rebound and play tenacious defense even if they haven’t the shooting skills of Davis, Kareem, Lebron, Magic or Julius might be enough to win in 2024. After that it is likely the Nuggets and San Antonio will be fighting for the top spot from the west.


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