Many fans are hoping for a playoff showdown between the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers.
The Los Angeles Lakers have taken the league by storm with their acquisition of Anthony Davis and LeBron James. Fans are hoping that this duo ends up clashing with the Golden State Warriors in the postseason. Are the Lakers capable of dethroning the Dubs?
James and Golden State have a long history. Facing each other in four of the last five NBA Finals, James has a 1-3 record versus the Warriors. Still, no other single player has given the Warriors more trouble than James, who is arguably the greatest athlete of all-time.
Combining James with an athletic freak in Davis is a scary thought. AD averaged 25.9 points, 12.0 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game last season. Playing alongside LBJ, they have the potential to become one of the best duos in league history.
It makes since that many people are excited to watch the Lakers take on the Warriors in a playoff matchup. A feud between two of the best teams in basketball is fun for everyone. However, the Warriors might have much more of an advantage than you think.
For starters, the Dubs are loaded with depth compared to the Lakers. With Stephen Curry, D’Angelo Russell, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, the Warriors have four All-Star caliber players on their roster.
Compare this to the Lakers, who have two superstars and a cast of aging veterans. Players such as Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo and Jared Dudley will be expected to play for the Lakers this season. Each of these veterans are far from their productive days and could easily become detrimental to the overall team.
The Lakers traded away nearly their entire core to acquire Davis. While this feels like a decision the franchise needed to make in order to capitalize on a closing championship window, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the squad is now heavily reliant on two players.
One minor injury or mishap could derail the Lakers entire season. With no one outside of James or Davis to carry the load, Kyle Kuzma will be asked to take on a bigger role than he is likely ready for.
In contrast, the Dubs have gotten younger, but still have their star power at the top. The second unit is buffed up with a pure scorer in Alec Burks and a strong rim-runner with Willie Cauley-Stein. If Kevon Looney is truly an improved player, the Warriors will have a strong lineup all around.
Lastly, the Dubs have the advantage of simply being together longer. Curry, Thompson and Green have pushed the franchise to five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals. Until they are beaten, no one should pick against them to win the Western Conference.
So even though a potential series between the Lakers and Warriors sounds fun, it might be lopsided in the Dubs favor.