Sports: As Lakers Restore Dominance, An Old Rivalry Renewed?
by Robert Johnson
The Los Angeles Lakers are officially back, as they continue the best start to a season in the illustrious history of the franchise.
The Purple and Gold have a current record of 22-3. This year has proved to be not only the changing but tipping point for the Lakers franchise. The Lakers began the season with the addition of key players such a Dwight Howard, Danny Green, and Anthony Davis which have been a major contributing factor to the Lakers’ success.
Without a doubt, LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been the best duo in the league with James averaging 25.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 10.8 assists, while Davis averages 27.7 points, 9 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks.
LeBron James has been in full effect offensively thus far, averaging the most assist in a regular season for his career with 10.8, which currently leads the league. Now having the experience that a young Lakers team desperately needed last year, LeBron has seemed more comfortable in the Laker offense under new head coach, Frank Vogel.
The Lakers have also shown a significant improvement on the defensive end, which Vogel is known for, with Vogel previously being the Indiana Pacers head coach known for giving Lebron James’ Heat team problems on the defensive end back in 2013.
This season, the Lakers are one of the most difficult frontcourts to score against thanks to Javal Mcgee’s 1.2 blocks per game, Dwight Howard’s 1.4 and Anthony Davis’ 2.7. This monstrous frontcourt has wreaked havoc for opposing teams on both ends.
Two notable spark plugs that really get the Staples Center going are Kyle Kuzma and fan-favorite Alex Caruso.
Recently NBA media and fans alike have been attempting to appoint a new rival for the Lakers. The most obvious cause for a rival has been made for the Clippers, but the history between the two teams isn’t quite there.
Do the names Magic and Bird or Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russel ring a bell to anyone? Or maybe 2008 and 2010 championship matchups between Kobe Bryant and Paul Pierce, with the Celtics and Lakers playing each other twice in three years winning a title one apiece appeal to anyone.
The Boston Celtics’ current record of 16-5 (2nd in the East) is no luck of the Irish. This is a truly talented team that is being led by Eastern Conference star point guard Kemba Walker. Being accompanied by his two young co-stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
For this season Walker has averaged 21.9pts, 4.6reb, and 5ast. Tatum and Brown have also had great seasons with Tatum posting 21.2pts and 7reb while Brown has had 20pts and 6.9reb per game.
This green three-headed monster is what has haunted the Lakers all throughout NBA history, with their first NBA Finals appearance against each other going all the way back to 1959 which the Celtics won in a sweep.
Although the Lakers have won their most recent Finals battle against the Celtics in 2010 with the series going 4-3. The Lakers are losing the overall Finals matchup, with Boston having 9 NBA Titles to the Lakers 3 against each other.
The Celtics and Lakers have yet to play this year, but we are all itching to see the possibility of old school NBA rivalries coming back. So now as fans, we have to wait until January 20, 2020, to see what transpires in a game between these two outstanding franchises.
NBA fans would love to see this rivalry be reinstated but the odds of it happening are still uncertain.
The Western Conference is stacked from head to toe, with any team being able to give you a tough game on any given night.
The Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, and Denver Nuggets are all teams that could potentially knock the Lakers out of the playoffs.
The primary threat to the Lakers in the West is the team they split the Staples Center with the Clippers who are 17-7 (2nd in the West). Experienced head coach Doc Rivers has been given the perfect roster to go on a championship run with. The Clippers are arguably the best defensive team in the league with Paul George being a 3 time NBA All-Defensive Team awardee and Kahwhi Leonard being a former 2-time Defensive Player of the Year.
With Paul George just recently getting back to playing regular-season games, Leonard and George haven’t had a real opportunity to build real on-court chemistry. Yet.
If these two are healthy, they could potentially claim the throne for the best team in L.A. which they would only do so by winning a title.
Looking back out East, Giannis Antetokounmpo is running everything with the Milliwuake Bucks, who currently are 20-3.
The Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, and reigning NBA Champs Toronto Raptors also have the potential to make real noise in the playoffs.
The NBA hasn’t had real parity in a while, the title is up for grabs with the 2020s along with it. The league has now shifted from building a franchise with 3 big superstars to make a roster with 2 superstars and more second and third-tier talent.