The Los Angeles Lakers put together an excellent season recently but it’s clear they weren’t content with one championship. They spent big this past offseason to get even better in a number of areas. Adding Montrezl Harrell and Dennis Schroder were probably the two biggest moves the team made and both men are playing well right now.
The Lakers face the Portland Trail Blazers for the first time this season on Monday and Damian Lillard is impressed with what they’ve done.
“Across the league, I think they had the best offseason … As always, they’re going to be a tough game, but not a game that we can’t win,” Lillard said, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
The Blazers were another team that had a decent offseason so it’s pretty big that Lillard would admit that the Lakers did better. They are the reigning champions and they should be even better this year. Lillard and the Blazers will hope to put up a fight but Monday’s game should show if they have any chance of competing with the Lakers in the West.
ALL the latest Los Angeles Lakers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Lakers newsletter here!
Anthony Davis Back
Anthony Davis got a little banged up in the Lakers’ game against the Dallas Mavericks and was forced to miss Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Fortunately, his absence should be very short-lived. Per McMenamin, the plan is for Davis to play against Portland.
Davis’ calf injury was never thought to be too serious but the Lakers are going to be very careful with their superstar. They just locked him up to a long contract and he has an injury history. If anything happens to Davis, it’s hard to imagine the Lakers winning a championship. He’ll probably miss a lot of games this season just to ensure he’s healthy when the playoffs get here.
Is There a Threat in the West to the Lakers?
The current NBA season is very much still in its early stages. As of right now, it doesn’t look there is a team that will truly threaten the Lakers in the Western Conference. The Clippers were thought to be the biggest threat after beating the purple and gold in the opener. However, they just lost by 51 points to the Mavericks. They have a long way to go before anybody can consider them a real threat.
The Golden State Warriors were looking to be a threat before Klay Thompson got injured. With him out for the year, the team doesn’t look very good. The Denver Nuggets have a solid team but they haven’t added any pieces that would suggest they’ve closed the gap with the Lakers.
While there isn’t a threat out West, there could be one or two in the Eastern Conference. The Brooklyn Nets have looked good to start the year. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have worked really well together. Other than them, nobody in the East has enough to compete with the Lakers. However, James Harden is looking to get traded. Houston would likely prefer to send him to the East. If Harden gets sent to the Heat, Bucks or 76ers, things could get really interesting.