Will the Lakers Veteran Core Survive the Regular Season and Be Able to Compete for the NBA Title?

Published 08/11/2021, 9:40 AM EDT
Jun 3, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3), forward LeBron James (23) and coach Frank Vogel react in the second half during game six in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Age is a factor that can either play into your hands or go against you. In the upcoming season, the Los Angeles Lakers have an extremely potent and experienced squad. The side already had veterans such as LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol at their disposal. In addition, they have now acquired Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony. This means that the men in yellow have a pretty high average age of players. Will this return to bite them in the back when it matters most? We don’t think so.

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Age and experience over everything for the Lakers

Frank Vogel’s team needed some key pieces to fill their puzzle in the off-season. They required someone they can bank on, someone whose presence benefits the current players, and someone who can make the pivotal plays for the side. Jeanie Buss and co. have perhaps filled the void, or at least they believe so. When the market opened, the Lakers acquired Westbrook, Carmelo, and many young prospects.

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The LA Lakers now have around eight players over the age of 32. Aside from this shocking statistic, five of these players are over the age of 35. This makes the squad one of the oldest in the league in terms of average age, if not the oldest. Malik Monk and Kendrick Nunn were the two choices to bring in the exuberance of youth, but little is known of their roles in the season to come. Does the age factor come into play all that much in the season? Yes, it does. Will it prove to be the demise of the Lakers? Unlikely in our eyes.

Pinpoint workload management should see the side through

May 23, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James reacts after suffering an injury against the Phoenix Suns in the second half during game one in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With age comes fatigue. The older players get drained out easier, and injuries come into play. Thus, the fact that half their squad is will into their thirties doesn’t play into the Lakers’ hands. However, the sheer quality and fitness levels of most, if not all, the ageing Lakers are phenomenal. From a functional point of view, the age factor gets diminished in front of skill and mindset.

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Players like LeBron James, Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony have gone about their careers with the utmost professionalism. Even the other not-so-young stars know what it takes to play at the highest level for a top side. Along with the elite team of physios and other aids, the squad will do everything they can to manage their work rate. More than anything, their focus will be on the playoffs post the regular season. And everyone concerned will know the importance of squad rotation in the long run.

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We believe that the Los Angeles Lakers will put their experience to full use in the 2021-22 edition. The age factor will be more of a boon than a bane. What do you think? Make your opinions known.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

240 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. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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