“He is the quintessential chess player”
The LA Lakers led by LeBron James are arguably the most controversial team in the NBA this season. While there are those, including many Lakers fans, who think they are doomed, there are also hordes who believe the Purple and Gold can still win it all. Some of those who still see hope for the Lakers, ironically enough, are not Lakers fans, but just know their basketball.
On the second episode of KG Certified, Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett and Sixth Man of the Year extraordinaire Jamal Crawford discussed the Lakers’ chances this season. Despite the seemingly endless drama and myriad issues to resolve, the two legends were united in their belief that the Lakers title fight is not over.
Here’s why Crawford has found enough reasons why LeBron James and his team can still be genuine championship contenders:
“First of all, LeBron can control a streak. You have your coach and he’s a different chess player. He’s the ultimate chess player, so he can control your streak. He’ll see you enough. He’ll know exactly where you are, where the help is coming from. He’s going to pull everyone gravitationally. So you just gotta do some shots, because he’s the center of attention. So I think with him, Melo , Russ in a series, they can really lock themselves up.
KG and Crawford are convinced that a veteran unit like the LA Lakers can be a different beast in a seven-game series. More importantly, the purple and gold team employs arguably the best postseason player in NBA history. LeBron James can make all the difference the team needs on a long streak.
For that to happen, LeBron James and the Lakers will need to address their most pressing issues and stay healthy. Anthony Davis is also expected to play a major role in the playoff return. It doesn’t matter how they get there as long as they make it to the playoffs.
“They have pieces, but they are the ones who get there. If they get there, they can cause problems. They can be difficult to manage. AD, if he’s healthy if he’s rolling, engaged and all that.
The LA Lakers currently sit in 9th place in the Western Conference and should at least be a shoo-in for the play-in tournament. As long as the Big 3 is available, the Lakers will always have a more than decent chance to advance.
Can LeBron James and the LA Lakers finally agree?
LeBron James has been playing on his mind all season. But in the last two games, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook have shown that they too can still dominate a game. Davis, in just his second game after a knee injury, reminded everyone of his superstar skills against Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite the loss, Laker Nation was buzzing with excitement following the big man’s unexpected performance.
Without Anthony Davis and LeBron James in the lineup, it was Russell Westbrook’s turn to dazzle the NBA. The triple-double king played his best game of the season against the Charlotte Hornets. Westbrook coached the understaffed Lakers into a big comeback against the Hornets, before falling short in the closing seconds.
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Westbrook scored 16 of his game-high 35 points in the fourth quarter and provided the spark the LA Lakers haven’t seen from him this season. The Big 3’s individual brilliance is firmly established. It’s how they fit together that will determine their fate in the playoffs.