The Los Angeles Lakers will be back in the finals 


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Josias Fernandez

The Los Angeles Lakers has a legacy of dynamic duos: the “Showtime” Lakers with Magic

Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the 1980s, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal in the early 2000s and, now, Anthony Davis and LeBron James.

James arrived in Los Angeles in 2018, but due to a groin injury that placed him on the sidelines for half a season and young, inexperienced supporting cast, the LeBron-led Lakers missed the playoffs.

The following offseason, the Lakers made the move for star player Anthony Davis.

Thus, the team was finally set for the 2019-2020 season: James was back in action and Davis was driven to prove his value in the NBA. It was a tremendous season for the Lakers, but in January 2020, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and eight other passengers  died in a helicopter accident.

That year, the Lakers had the tools, and after Bryant’s death, the motivation. Suddenly, the COVID-19 caused the lockdown and pause of the season. After months of uncertainty, the season continued in the bubble of Orlando, and the Lakers won the Larry O’Brien trophy.

For the Lakers, it was an incredible time in the bubble, but catastrophe struck after Orlando. The front office decided to trade their core players to the Washington Wizards for “Mr. TripleDouble,” Russell Westbrook. The Lakers’ new big three had aspirations to repeat 2020, but have yet to get past the first round of playoffs.

The Lakers now have a solid team, but the problems are still evident. Many guards are battling for minutes and there is not enough center power in the lineup. While their preseason hasn’t been fantastic, they possess a great chance to make it to the Finals for two reasons.

The first reason is the injuries. Last year the trio of James, Davis and Westbrook played a total of 21 games together, with the lineup changing more than 41 times that year. If they manage to have at least James and Davis, the Lakers have a great chance against their improving competition.

Westbrook is a great player, but since his run in Oklahoma City, things haven’t been the same. That is why the second factor involves Westbrook in two scenarios: either a trade that can give the Lakers better pieces to compete, or if he accepts to reduce his role on the team.

The Lakers have interesting pieces to battle this season. Fans are hoping to see more movement by the team and their hopes are in James and Davis. The team could easily make a deep playoff run and defeat any team in the West, but it is all centered on whether the team can stave off injuries and figure out the Westbrook dilemma.