With Anthony Davis and Lebron James out, the Los Angeles Lakers have been disappointing to say the least. Their only two wins have come against the Cleveland Cavaliers who were without their best player Colin Sexton, and the Orlando Magic who completely restructured their team at trade deadline and are looking in a new direction. Aside from Dennis Schröder and Montrezl Harrell, no one from the Lakers roster has stepped up to the challenge and played well on a consistent basis since the injuries to their two stars. I would argue this was the perfect opportunity for Kyle Kuzma to showcase his true worth and abilities but he hasn’t played quite well during this span.
On the other hand, the Brooklyn Nets are stacking the deck and soaring right now. The acquisition of Blake Griffin and Lamarcus Aldridge gives them more depth than they previously had and seemingly gives them the edge to be the Eastern Conference champions. As the Nets filled out their roster, the Lakers made a big splash in the buyout market. Cavaliers centre Andre Drummond was bought out, which gave the Lakers the opportunity to sign him.
Assuming Lebron and Davis can come back to the court at nearly 100 per cent, I believe this gives the Lakers a decided advantage to make it to the NBA finals. Drummond gives the Lakers great rebounding as he is one of the best of his generation and averages 13.8 boards for his career. He also gives them rim protection that they haven’t been able to get from anyone else besides Anthony Davis. The Lakers now have the recipe for success they had last season, when they had great rim protection and rebounding from Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee. Letting go of those two and signing Marc Gasol has been a failed experiment so far as he is far past his prime and can’t protect the rim effectively like Howard, McGee and Drummond are capable of.
Anthony Davis is the team leader in blocks per game and rebounds per game but with the acquisition of Drummond, this will ease a lot of the pressure and responsibility that Davis has as he will not be the premier rebounder or rim protector. (Source – NBA.com)
What makes Drummond’s signing so vital is that, if the Lakers have to go up against players like Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert, Kristaps Porzingis in the playffos, they will be more than prepared as they’ll have Davis and Drummond who can dominate and make life difficult for opposing centres. Once again this is all under the assumption that Lebron and Davis are close to 100 per cent. If they aren’t, then I do not like the Lakers chances to make it to the finals over teams like the Clippers and Nuggets.
As always do not forget to check out the rest of the Hot Sauce Family and check us out on Youtube! This week on Not Sauce For Work Peeze, Terry and Eagle discuss the Final Four, NFL news and the NBA Trade Deadline.