Fresh off their 2020 title victory, the Lakers hit the ground running in free agency, acquiring Wesley Matthews, Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, and Marc Gasol in the opening days of free agency.
Needless to say, the acquisitions have them feeling good about their chances to go back-to-back. What about three in a row?
It sounds like a pipe dream, but Stephen A. Smith says he thinks the Lakers have a chance.
"I think the Lakers have a chance to three-peat. Not just repeat, three-peat. I think right now, as this season is presently constructed, it's the Lakers and everyone else is a distant second coming into this season. LeBron is obviously 36, buy that time, he'll be 37 going on 38 -- and I think that's where the run ultimately ends. I think it's entirely plausible the Lakers three-peat, I'm not gonna say it's a guaranteed cause of injuries and all that sort of stuff, but it's pretty close as I can get to a guarantee."
Stephen A.'s confidence in the Lakers is well-founded. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are the NBA's best duo, and their improved roster will only translate to increased potency off the bench.
But there are some serious threats to their three-peat chances. For one, LeBron James is going to be 36 years old later this month -- and while he's done a great job keeping Father Time at bay, his decline is inevitable and coming sooner rather than later.
The durability of Anthony Davis is also a huge concern, given his long track record of missed games due to all sorts of injuries.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle for the Lakers is the steep competition they'll have to face in the West. The Clippers are seeking vengeance for a failed season, the Mavericks are young and only getting better, the Warriors are loaded and healthier, and the Nuggets continue to build chemistry as a unit. Those teams -- along with the Blazers, Suns, Jazz, and Rockets -- will cause some serious problems for the defending Champs.
We'll see soon enough if they're up for the challenge.