Coming into the 2020-21 NBA season the Los Angeles Lakers were expected by many to repeat for another NBA title easily. The Lakers on paper at least had the best duo in the NBA with LeBron James and Anthony Davis and added the top two Sixth Man of the Year candidates from 2020 in Dennis Schroeder and Montrezl Harrell.
Unfortunately for Lakers fans, the Brooklyn Nets burst into the championship picture like wildfire. They had already come into the season with a healthy and well-rested Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and then made the trade of the season when they acquired James Harden from the Houston Rockets by way of a blockbuster trade in January.
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Jeanie Buss Insists the Lakers Are Not Backing Down
Recently, Brooklyn acquired All-Stars Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge through the buyout market and now are presumed by many to be the new favorites to win the 2021 NBA title. Despite the wealth of talent in Brooklyn, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss insists that the defending champs are not relinquishing their title without a fight.
“It brings out the best in us,” Buss said of the Nets’ roster moves on Stephen A’s World on Monday via ESPN.
“When teams identify us as the team to beat and they gear up to go at us head-to-head, that makes us work harder. So, bring it on.”
The defending champs aren't backing down from anyone 🍿
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 30, 2021
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Andre Drummond Signing Moves the Needle for the Lakers
Buss and the Lakers’ front office have been making roster moves of their own. After LeBron and AD sustained long-term injuries, Buss and her staff knew that they would have to make a move for a player that would be able to keep the Lakers’ ship afloat in a loaded Western Conference until their stars returned.
On Sunday, the team announced the signing of two-time NBA All-Star Andre Drummond after he officially was waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers. On the season the star center is averaging 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds per game.
“The addition of Andre Drummond, who we picked up in the buyout market, will certainly fortify a season where we’ve had to deal with injuries and COVID,” Buss said to Stephen A.
“Having Marc Gasol who is our starting center, was out for several weeks with COVID and a really tough case where he was on a minutes restriction even though he’s back in the lineup.”
Drummond, who was one of the most highly coveted free agents on the buyout market will certainly add to a Lakers team that already has a lot of depth. He made it clear that he chose the Lakers for one reason, he wants to win.
“I’m not here to steal nobody’s shine,” Drummond during his introductory press conference via ESPN.
“I’m here to help this team win as many games as possible.”
Andre Drummond is officially a Laker 👀
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 29, 2021
In the minds of many, the Lakers and the Nets meeting up in the NBA Finals is all but a done deal. If that dream comes to fruition and both teams are fully healthy, we could be looking at one of the greatest NBA Finals of all time.