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Los Angeles Lakers Season Preview

The Los Angeles Lakers 2017-2018 campaign will be a very interesting one, to put it mildly. The Lakers have a lot of potential on their squad going into the season and it will be interesting to see if the can roll with it, and maybe even contend for a lower playoff spot for most of the season.

The Lakers 2017-2018 regular season will not nearly be as frustrating as the previously 2-3 seasons. There is a lot of talent and promise on this young basketball team and this could be a crucial regular season for them because of all the free-agent star power they could potentially add to their already young, talented team. With superstars like LeBron James, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook all having ties to Los Angeles, it is crucial that the Lakers improve from last year and prove they can be a great destination for some of the stars mentioned. Without further ado, we look at the regular season preview of thee Los Angeles Lakers.

Key Additions

Lonzo Ball
Kyle Kuzma
Brook Lopez
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Key Losses

Lou Williams
D’Angelo Russell
Nick Young
Timofey Mozgov

Nick Young, Lou Williams, and D-Russ are all great players in their own right, but Brook Lopez, KCP and Lonzo can all make up for that production and some! Lonzo Ball is a rookie of the year canidate and he will be a threat to record a triple double on many nights. Brook Lopez has expanded his game to the 3 point line and having a center who can stretch the floor, can open up the lane for many Lakers. Mozgov was a marble statue in the key, so it will be nice for the Lakers to have a big man who can move a little better than Mozgov. KCP had a solid season last year, but he will be called upon to do more for the Lakers than what he was previously doing for the Pistons. He will need to be a more efficient shooter and he will also need to be the best wing defender for this young team. KCP was almost an All-Star reserve last year and the Lakers inked a talented, young, and hungry player.

The Lakers retain talented players like Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Brandon Ingram, and Ivica Zubac who showed glimpses of absolute greatness. Zubac and Ingram will need to be more consistent this upcoming season, while Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson will need to continue to improve at the rate they have been each season. The Lakers also have Larry Nance Jr. returning, who has been inconsistent, but has a lot of potential to be a solid role player in the NBA for years to come.

Prediction

With how absolutely stacked the Western Conference is, the Lakers should consider the regular season an absolute grand slam if they find themselves in the playoffs. Despite what super dad LaVar Ball says about how good Lonzo is, the Western Conference is just too stacked for the Lakers to get in the playoffs in Lonzo’s rookie season. I can see the Lakers being as good as the 10th seed in the Western Conference this season, and as low as the 12th. This should put the Lakers at somewhere between 32 and 40 wins this season, which is a huge improvement from the 26 wins they had just a year ago. This is a pretty fair mark for them, and it may be enough for some superstars to consider a move to LA in the offseason, especially if they can maintain a low-tier playoff pace for a majority of the regular season

The Lakers players have some chance to take home some hardware this season. Lonzo Ball is a legit contender for Rookie of the Year and his teammate Brandon Ingram could be one of the most improved players this season. His shooting was so inconsistent last season, but Ingram had a great off-season and will continue to be set up with a lot of chances to succeed. Jordan Clarkson is a legitimate contenders for the 6th Man of the Year Award. The Lakers have not declared a starting lineup yet, but these two have a lot of experience they can provide if they are called upon to be the team’s first players in off the bench.

Projected Depth Chart

PG: Lonzo Ball, Tyler Ennis
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jordan Clarkson, Josh Hart
SF: Brandon Ingram, Luol Deng, Corey Brewer
PF: Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr., Kyle Kuzma
C: Brook Lopez, Ivica Zubac, Andrew Bogut, Thomas Bryant

The Lakers are improved and they are starting to build a nice young core through the draft. They added a nice group of free agents to their team, which will lead them to a better overall mark. Luke Walton will continue to coach these guys hard, which will only benefit this team for several years to come. The Lakers may have their brightest team they have had in the last 5 years in terms of raw talent. Fans can expect the Lakers to be a more competitive and improved team from a year ago. Magic Johnson will have his hands full in 2018 free agency, but this offseason could end up being one of the greatest, or most disappointing ones in franchise history. The future is bright in the present moment in LA for the regular season and could be even brighter here in the next 8-10 months.

 

Photo Credits: Silver Screen and Roll
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