Los Angeles Lakers have made it to the playoffs with over 10 games still to be played in the regular season. The last time they had made it to the playoffs was in 2013. The had barely made it to then finishing seventh in the Western Conference.
The only player to be a part of the Lakers side on both occasions is Dwight Howard. In 2013, Howard was sort of a mockery. But seven years on, Howard is no longer the player he was. He has a part to play in the Lakers’ quest for their first Championship in 10 years. Such has been the transformation of the team. Each and every player in the roster has been enjoying their time.
After missing out on a three-peat in 2011, the Lakers were getting weaker. Kobe Bryant wasn’t getting any younger. Their roster in 2013 had All-Stars like Bryant and Pau Gasol but they didn’t look convincing as a team. And as Bryant retired in 2016, the Lakers almost lost their way.
To start their rebuilding phase, they acquired a talented youngster in the 2016 NBA Draft in the form of Brandon Ingram. Their rebuilding phase got a boost when, a year later, they appointed club legend Magic Johnson as their General Manager. Although he served only for two years, Johnson was influential in bringing in LeBron James.
The Lakers started to build a team around James in 2018 but they still needed another All-Star to build a team of Championship pedigree. In the summer of 2019, they got Anthony Davis. Although a few believed that they paid a huge price to get Davis, he has answered all the critics with his performances this season.
Davis has averaged 26.6 points and 9.5 rebounds per game this season. Meanwhile, James is averaging a league-high 10.7 assists per game this season, apart from 25.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. With them on their back, the Lakers are comfortably on top of the Western Conference and are one of the favourites to win the Championship this season.
Together, LeBron James and Anthony Davis have led the Lakers to their first playoff berth since 2013. Together, they are leading the Lakers back to their glory days.