The presence of one or two superstars may be be a recipe for success in a few cases, but as Shaquille O'Neal often says on TNT, the 'others' (read 'role players') are often needed to land a championship.
The 2019-20 LA Lakers' run to their 17th NBA title in franchise history was largely a show led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but there were many other contributors in the franchise's historic achievement.
5 players other than LeBron James and Anthony Davis who played a key role in the LA Lakers' 2019-20 NBA title triumph
In this article, we will take a look at five players other than LeBron James and Anthony Davis who played a significant role in the LA Lakers' latest NBA triumph.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who were beasts during the 2020 NBA Playoffs, ranked second and first respectively in total points scored during the postseason. Both were in the top five in several other categories as well, but there were a few other players in Frank Vogel's roster who also rose to the occasion. Let us take a look at five of them.
#5 Danny Green
LA Lakers' Danny Green has often been referred to as one of the weak players in the team, but coach Vogel never paid heed to that perception as he kept the player in the starting lineup throughout the season.
Green had a less convincing campaign to the one he had with the Toronto Raptors last season as he saw his three-point percentage drop from 45 to 37 this year. Nevertheless, in the regular season as well as in the NBA Playoffs, Green ranked third among LA Lakers players in various stat categories, just behind the two monsters leading the team.
In the 2020 NBA Finals, Green was second in defensive ratings for the LA Lakers behind Davis, but he will probably be remembered for missing the title-winning shot in Game 5 from an unmarked position after LeBron James had passed the ball to him with a few seconds left on the clock.
However, in Game 6, Green redeemed himself by scoring three of his seven threes to help the LA Lakers beat the Miami Heat comfortably as he became an NBA champion with three different teams.
#4 Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard may be just a role player for the LA Lakers, but he was able to show why he will be a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame after his career is over. In the Western Conference Finals, Howard was instrumental in getting into Nikola Jokic's mind and forced the player to commit fouls in many games in that series.
Howard even earned a spot in the LA Lakers' starting lineup seven times during the NBA Playoffs (including five of the six games in the NBA Finals). His rim protection remains as good as it was during his best years in which he won the Defensive Player of the Year Award three times.
Howard's offensive rating in the 2020 NBA Playoffs was even better than LeBron James', and the player was in the top five in points scored per 100 possessions among all LA Lakers players.