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3 Reasons why Los Angeles Lakers are favourites to win the 2019-2020 NBA Championship

LeBron James will have Anthony Davis as his running mate this season.
LeBron James will have Anthony Davis as his running mate this season.
PrasannaKumar Reddy Gade

In a blockbuster trade that has sent shockwaves throughout the NBA early in the offseason, the New Orleans Pelicans traded superstar Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, 3 First Round picks (including the No.4 Pick in this year's draft), and a Second Round pick.

The move was a long time coming as throughout last season, rumours were doing their rounds about Davis potentially signing with the Lakers in the summer.

By pulling off arguably the biggest move of the offseason, the Lakers now have the best odds to win the NBA title along with the LA Clippers, according to several oddsmakers.

Here are three reasons why the Lakers are the favourites to win it all next season.

#3 Lakers' stifling defence

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Believe it or not, the Lakers will have a lot better defense than you think. It might even end up being the very reason they win the Championship. On paper, the likes of Danny Green, Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley are known to be strong defenders at the perimeter that have been named in the NBA All Defensive Teams in the past.

Moreover, excellent shot blockers in the form of Anthony Davis, Javale Mcgee and LeBron James himself would make it difficult for the opponents to drive towards the basket, let alone score in the paint. Although, the latter's defence has taken a step back the last couple of seasons.

A major cause for concern could be the fact that except for Danny Green (ranked 19th in the league in total defensive win shares), none of the players mentioned above were even remotely close in the top 50 of the total defensive win shares.

However, on paper, this season should be a huge improvement over the last season where the Lakers had the 13th best defence in the league.

#2 Experience at the Core

The once inexperienced line up of talented youngsters has now transformed into a roster consisting of proven stars and veterans
The once inexperienced line up of talented youngsters has now transformed into a roster consisting of proven stars and veterans

The Lakers will have a different identity altogether starting next season, now that they have traded most of the young core they drafted throughout these years. With the exception of Kyle Kuzma, most of the youngsters of the likes of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart are now on the New Orleans Pelicans.

Further, courtesy of the Anthony Davis trade, the Lakers initially did not possess any draft picks this year as they later bought a second-round pick from Orlando Magic. They subsequently went on to draft forward Talen Horton-Tucker out of Iowa State with the 46th pick. Looking back, they have been able to save a considerable amount of money on an additional salary.

Experience plays a huge role in building morale and team chemistry. The Lakers have decided not to waste LeBron James' peak years in developing the young players of the team, which is why they have successfully added veteran players of the likes of Danny Green, Avery Bradley, and Jared Dudley to name a few. The Lakers have been especially triumphant in resigning Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, and promising guard Alex Caruso.

JaVale McGee will strengthen them with his interior presence and shot-blocking capabilities while Danny Green, one of the best three-point shooters in the League percentage-wise, can help them spread the floor.

However, the biggest addition this offseason other than the Anthony Davis trade was signing Demarcus Cousins to a one-year deal. If he can get back to his pre-injury form, the Lakers will be virtually unstoppable. Not only will they have three All NBA players in the form of James, Davis, and Cousins, but they will instantly become one of the best scoring teams in the entire league.

Hence, a strong starting line up consisting of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma and a potential signing of a star player bolstered by a deep bench consisting of proven players will play a significant role for the Lakers to contend for a championship.

#1 LeBron James and Anthony Davis

Credit: NBA.com
Credit: NBA.com

The tandem of 'the King' and 'the Brow' is enough to send any mediocre team to the forefront of the NBA Championship contention. Two of the best players in the league, James and Davis are sublime players with very few weaknesses in their games.

Both are capable ball handlers who can create shots for themselves as well as their teammates. Davis has the skill set of a guard in a centre's body and the same goes with LeBron James, who can play all the positions from 1 to 5 with relative ease.

On the offensive end, both James and Davis are known to be strong players in the post who like to exploit mismatches and occasional lapses in the defences. It will be quite interesting to see how the pick and roll combination of James and Davis shapes up.

Additionally, Anthony Davis is one of the best defenders and rim protectors in the league. LeBron James, on the other hand, is not too far behind as he was once a perennial All-Defensive team member and is still going strong. Both of them will be expected to address the defensive issues that the Lakers experienced last year and it will be fascinating to see how they will handle them.

Overall, the signing of Anthony Davis comes off as a blessing in disguise for the Lakers organization who have not made it to the postseason since the 2012-2013 NBA season, when they crashed out in the First Round.

Besides, the Lakers will be cautious in their approach and would be ready to go to great lengths for the team's success considering the fact that Anthony Davis will be a Free Agent in the 2020 offseason, which makes the next season a critical outing for the men in Purple and Gold.

Edited by Sai Teja

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