Three Bold Predictions For Los Angeles Lakers’ 2021-22 NBA Season

Published 09/04/2021, 9:40 AM EDT
May 15, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) gets a high five from forward Anthony Davis (3) after a foul in the second quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers have seen one of the most active offseasons in terms of player turnover. 9 fresh additions to the roster so far. The Lakers are most likely going to see a completely new style of play on the court as well. Several experts questioned the Lakers’ decision to go with an experienced veteran roster.

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However, LeBron James’ history with the 2017-18 Cleveland Cavaliers is testament to what he can do with a veteran roster. Nevertheless, the current Los Angeles Lakers are the oldest roster (in terms of the average age) of all time in the league. So anything is possible this season. Keeping that in mind, here are three predictions for the Lakers’ in the upcoming season.

May 25, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates with teammates against the Phoenix Suns during the first half in game two of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

1. Russell Westbrook will win the MVP Award for the Regular Season

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Russell Westbrook will most likely put up the similar numbers looking at his history. Not to discount his effort, Russell Westbrook is arguably still in his athletic prime. And unless his season gets hindered by an injury, he will dominate inside the paint like usual.

One argument against this prediction can be that Russell Westbrook has averaged a triple double in 4 of the last 5 seasons and still won MVP only once. However, in those cases the critics ignore the fact that he has not been in a top seeded team since Oklahoma. Further, in his season with the Rockets, he did not average a triple double.

In 2016, Russell Westbrook won the MVP Award with 69 first place votes. Harden and Leonard, the other two contendors managed to bag 22 and 9 votes respectively. (Photo: NBA.com)

Yet, history has shown us with Stephen Curry and Kareem Abdul Jabbar that when a team succeeds drastically because of a player’s contributions, the individual’s performance also gets the due credit. Even last season, NBA legend Oscar Robertson believed Russell Westbrook deserved to be the MVP. However, since he was not on a top seeded team, most experts disagreed. This leads to the second prediction.

2. Los Angeles Lakers will make the NBA Finals (‘Los Angeles Avengers’)

A healthy roster for the Lakers with Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo has already won the Championship in 2020. Now two seasons later, a roster stacked with the experience of Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony along with the key pieces from the championship winning run, clearly make them favourites to repeat the feat. However, the biggest hinderance in that run would be their Eastern conference rivals, Brooklyn Nets. Therefore, it can be said with quite certainty that they would at least reach the Finals.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (9) sits on the court with his son after game six of the 2020 NBA Finals at AdventHealth Arena. The Los Angeles Lakers won 106-93 to win the series. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The 2021 season was plagued with injuries for the Lakers. So they will play with a mentality of having something to prove to the league. If the Lakers remain fit throughout the season, there is no stopping this team in the regular season. However, with the roster turnover, they might struggle with figuring out the roles of players in the roster. Since most of them are in the habit of being the superstar with the ball in their previous teams. This leads to the third prediction.

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3. Lakers will struggle with chemistry at the beginning of the season

LeBron James became the dominant ball controller for the Lakers in the last season. But with the addition of Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, combined with the return of Rajon Rondo would make the playmaking position a tough point of contention for them.

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Arguably, Russell Westbrook struggled to average a triple double in his season with the Rockets because of this reason. Harden and he struggled with deciding who makes the plays and who’s the scorer. And at the Lakers, he looks on the verge of facing the same problem.

However, the logical answer to this would be for LeBron James to become the shooter and to give up the ball to Westbrook and Anthony to handle a guard’s usual responsibility. While LeBron can go back to playing his original small forward position where he can focus on shooting from outside the arc.

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

131 articles

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