With training camp just a couple of weeks away and the roster pretty much settled, fans have begun to project how the Los Angeles Lakers will look during the 2021-22 season.
For the third consecutive season, the Lakers overhauled their roster, except this time the makeup is focused on shooting and spacing. Even though Los Angeles had the best defense during the 2020-21 season, their lack of perimeter shooting held them back and that was apparent in their first-round loss to the Phoenix Suns.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis are at their best when they have more room to operate on the floor, and at this point, it is no secret that the team’s best lineups are when they slide up a position. With legitimate shooters flanking them, James and Davis at power forward and center, respectively, would make for a potent offense.
It appears they understand that and plan to play their best positions more this season as according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, Rich Paul has already been telling people as such this summer, via Lakers Supply:
— Lakers Supply (@LakersSupply) September 15, 2021
James and Davis shifting positions full-time would be a massive surprise considering they signed Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan to play next to Davis in the frontcourt. Head coach Frank Vogel has preferred to play with two traditional big men, but having Davis at the five opens up all kinds of possibilities for the Lakers.
The spacing issues would be corrected if James and Davis embrace more small-ball roles, but it also opens the floor up for Russell Westbrook, who should thrive in that kind of lineup. Vogel could then supplement his trio of stars with more shooting from players like Kent Bazemore and Wayne Ellington, paving the way for a better offensive season.
It remains to be seen whether or not James and Davis make the change, but if they do it bodes well for the Purple and Gold as well as their individual MVP odds.
Jordan looking forward opportunities from LeBron James and Russell Westbrook
Even if James does move to power forward, there should still be opportunities for Jordan to flourish on the offensive end. The big man admitted he is looking forward to the looks he is going to receive from James and Westbrook.
“For me, it’s great,” Jordan said. “Those guys being able to have such speed and strength, being able to get downhill so quickly, it puts a lot of pressure on defenses. And when you’re a big playing in that dunker area, you kind of find where you’ll be open, whether it’s a shovel pass, whether it’s a lob. And like I said, those guys are so great at finding the open man and making the defenses just pay for coverages and schemes that they may come up with is going to be great. And I just need to be ready to catch the basketball or catch a lab or screen in for a shooter. But when you have that many threats all on one team, I think that it’s going to be very beneficial to us.”
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