Chris Paul and Phoenix Suns Prove Why LeBron James’ Lakers Shouldn’t Worry

Published 10/14/2021, 3:30 PM EDT
DENVER, CO – FEBRUARY 12: LeBron James (23) of the Los Angeles Lakers wipes sweat from his brow during the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, February 12, 2020. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)


Contrary to the buildup, the Los Angeles Lakers have been severely underwhelming in the pre-season thus far. In the off-season, quality players like Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony were added to an already packed LA roster. Yet, LeBron James and co. have not yet been able to register a victory ahead of the regular season. Are these worrying times for the franchise that has already experienced something similar back in 2012-13?

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA JANUARY 29, 2013-Lakers Kobe Bryant bites his jersey while Pau Gasol shoots a free throw at the Staples Center Tuesday. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Close to a decade ago, the Lakers began their campaign on a disheartening note. It was the 65th season for the franchise, but a bitter-sweet one at that. Initially the favorites to win the title, the Lakers slumped to one of their worst outings in many years. Lack of clear tactics and injuries caused the side’s downfall, as they failed to notch a single win in their pre-season. As the season progressed, the side’s inconsistencies were exposed, and they were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs. But there is still hope for the Lakers nation this year.

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How the Phoenix Suns can inspire the Lakers to a turnaround

Following their poor run of outings in the pre-season so far, fans around the world are drawing comparisons to the 2012-13 campaign. So far, the team has looked rusty, resulting in devastating defeats to the likes of the Nets, Warriors and more. A loss in their final encounter before the regular season would mirror the 2012 campaign, when Kobe’s men dropped to a 0-8 pre-season record. However, Frank Vogel’s All-stars can look at another franchise for inspiration.

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Jul 20, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Phoenix Suns players react during game six of the 2021 NBA Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, the Phoenix Suns were a potent squad, but most definitely not the favorites. Led by Chris Paul and Devin Booker, the squad was humbled in the preliminary bouts, falling to a 0-4 record before the season kicked off. The rest, as they say, is history. Booker’s men never looked back, romping to a phenomenal season wherein they reached the NBA Finals. Therefore, all hope is not lost for the LA Lakers, who will just need to make some adjustments in order to kick into fifth gear. Can they emulate their rival’s form in 2021-22?

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Although the beginning of the new edition hasn’t been fruitful for the Lakers, they can afford to take it with a pinch of salt. After all, there is a massive season to come. Provided they can brush up soon enough, there is still hope for a title-winning season.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

308 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a Tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football and table tennis. Sankalp idolises Roger Federer and Stephen Curry, and has an inherent love for statistics.

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