The Laker Lockdown Volume 1: Pre-Season Edition

Welcome to the Laker Lockdown. Laker Nation stand up!

With NBA training camps beginning today, December 1, the roster is almost set in stone for the start of the new NBA season. The Lakers are still missing the signing of Anthony Davis, but rest assured, he will be back in the purple and gold. For this exciting new season, let’s dive into our new and approved roster.

Starting Five

I predict the Lakers to run a few different lineups throughout the season, with the primary lineup being:

PG: Dennis Schroder

SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

SF: LeBron James

PF: Anthony Davis

C: Marc Gasol

6th Man: Montrezl Harrell

With this lineup, the team gets everything they need. LeBron gets a shooting focused lineup with Schroder, Caldwell-Pope, Davis and Gasol ready to hit any shot dished to them. Davis gets to run the power forward spot that he so greatly loves. Schroder is that gritty player that the Lakers need in this lineup. Then, they get the much needed energy off the bench in Harrell. Plus the addition of another champion and former defensive player of the year in Gasol.

Secondary Starting Five

PG: LeBron James

SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

SF: Kyle Kuzma

PF: Anthony Davis

C: Marc Gasol

6th Man: Schroder/Harrell

Kuzma has shown spurts of what he can do with the Lakers. He can be a great spot up shooter, decent rebounder and a player that just does the little things right. If LA wants to experiment with a high energy second unit, this would be the starting lineup I can see them using.

This would place their second five as:

PG: Schroder

SG: Alex Caruso

SF: Wesley Matthews

PF: Markieff Morris

C: Harrell

This lineup is very high energy with players like Schroder, Caruso and Harrell, then you have the gritty players that will give opposing teams everything they can handle in Morris, Harrell, and Caruso. Throw in Matthews to hit the long ball and you’re set.

Strengths

The Lakers obviously got better during free agency, but how much better?

With signings of Schroder, Harrell, Gasol and Matthews, the Lakers kept their core guys and improved on the guys they lost. Dwight Howard (76ers) and JaVale McGee (Cavaliers) were both lost in the offseason, but with the addition of Gasol and Harrell, it’s not considered much of a loss.

Another couple of losses of the offseason are guards Danny Green and Rajon Rondo. Another increase in production with the signings of Matthews and Schroder.

Schroder might be the best player that the Lakers could have signed this offseason. He has proven to be a great scorer and has the potential to be a gifted passer, averaging over six assists per game in a couple seasons in Atlanta. Schroder will be a great pick up in a position that the Lakers lacked last season.

Harrell is another guy that will give the Lakers high energy and effective defense when put on the floor. The Lakers have enough offensive firepower that Harrell will not have to worry much about scoring and can focus on his intensity, defense, and athleticism to score.

Thinking of a pairing of Davis and Gasol should make Laker Nation very excited. The Lakers receive a notable defensive presence in Gasol and a seasoned veteran as well. One of these players should be on the court at all times if possible, and should man down the paint with ease.

Matthews is a consistent scorer and a proven shooter. The Lakers should expect him to be an upgrade on Danny Green despite the defensive loss.

The biggest gain from this free agency is the increase of bench depth. The Lakers struggled with how deep their bench went, and you could see it in the post-season.

Weaknesses

As mentioned above, the Lakers do lose the defensive mind of Green, along with defensive assets of Howard and McGee. With the loss of these three players, you also lose the experience. All three of these players are 10+ season vets, all with championship experience.

The Lakers also lose some center play. With the expected big men being Davis and Gasol, this leaves the only other center on the roster being 6’7 Devontae Cacok. I expect the team to focus more on small ball this season with Harrell running the center position often.

Laker Lockdown Final Thoughts

I fully expect the Lakers to repeat as champions this season with their offseason moves. I think they rebuilt and reloaded their unit and will be even better than they were last year.

The fact that they have a higher tier center, finally have a quality point guard on the roster and have an electrifying bench should excite Laker Nation.

For more information on the Los Angeles Lakers and to keep following the Laker Lockdown, follow @PZer0Music on Twitter and check out OvertimeHeroics.net.

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