The LA Lakers travel to Texas for a series of games that begins with a battle against the San Antonio Spurs. These two teams will meet three times in the next nine days, giving these next few games a playoff feel. The Lakers are off to a rocky start to their 2020-21 NBA season with a 2-2 record after four games.
For the Spurs, who are 2-1, the three games with the Lakers will give Coach Greg Popovich an idea of where San Antonio stands, whether they are closer to being playoff contenders than they were last year when they finished 32-39 and in 11th place.
LA Lakers vs San Antonio Spurs: Combined Starting 5
The combined starting 5 for the LA Lakers and San Antonio Spurs will merge these two team’s best players. Four of the positions were no-brainers while the last guard spot was a bit more tricky. It is tough to choose between the Lakers’ Dennis Schroder, and the Spurs’ Dejounte Murray and Lonnie Walker IV as all three have been playing well this season.
Ultimately, there can only be one.
Check out our combined starting 5 for the LA Lakers and San Antonio Spurs matchup:
Center - LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs)
This has been a slow start for San Antonio Spurs center LaMarcus Aldridge who is in his 15th year in the league. His 12.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game averages 7.5 points and 4.0 rebounds below his career averages. It’s still too early in the season to count him out and Aldridge is too skilled to not be in this group.
Aldridge is a force down low and he can cause problems for any opponent on any given night.
Power Forward - Anthony Davis (LA Lakers)
A Defensive Player of the Year runner-up last season, Anthony Davis can affect the outcome of games both offensively and defensively. As the 2020 NBA Finals showed, a focused and determined Davis is a game-changer and he can carry a huge load on his shoulders.
However, Davis is starting this season a bit slow with averages of 19.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per contest. He missed the LA Lakers’ third game but was back for their fourth. What’s shocking is he has yet to record a block in 2020-21. The Spurs game could be the start of Davis realizing that he’s back to work and his LA Lakers championship hangover is over.
Small Forward - LeBron James (LA Lakers)
It’s only been two months since we last saw LeBron James holding aloft the Larry O’Brien Trophy and celebrating his fourth title, but now he’s back on an NBA floor again. In his bid to win back-to-back titles for the LA Lakers, James has more help.
Early season averages of 22.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game are nothing to scoff at, but these are pedestrian numbers for the King. Expect James to start revving up his motor during the next few games and watch the 2020 Finals MVP take over once more.
Shooting Guard - DeMar DeRozan (San Antonio Spurs)
Is there a prettier mid-range jumper than DeMar DeRozan’s? The four-time All-Star’s form is as exquisite as the result at the end of a DeRozan jump shot. Though he is hardly mentioned among the game’s elite shooting guards because of his anathema to the 3-point shot, the San Antonio Spurs' guard is a primetime scorer, consistently giving his team 20 or more points a night and averaging 21.0 points per game this season.
His 9.0 nightly assists average may be an aberration, but it shows how much his playmaking has improved over the years and how much Gregg Popovich has entrusted to him.
Point Guard - Dennis Schroder (LA Lakers)
The winner of our point guard spot battle is Dennis Schroder. As good as Dejounte Murray and Lonnie Walker IV have been for the Spurs, Schroder has seamlessly integrated his game into the LA Lakers’ plan. That’s no easy feat when you’re thrust into the starting lineup of a team that’s defending its title.
Schroder’s 16.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game averages are outstanding given the circumstances he’s been placed under. His craftiness and ability to play harmoniously with the team earned him this spot.Published 30 Dec 2020, 09:02 IST