Albeit next NBA season looked more promising for the Lakers, they suffered a major setback after losing DeMarcus Cousins to a torn ACL last week. They still remain as the biggest force in the league along with the Los Angeles Clippers, but Boogie’s absence is and will be painful for them.
However, they still have Anthony Davis and LeBron James with them, two players that keep Lakers’ hope to win the title intact.
For ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, the biggest obstacle for the Lakers the upcoming season will be their city rivals, the Clippers. On Wednesday’s edition of First Take, Smith put the Lob City as the biggest issue for LeBron James and company. When Max Kellerman said the biggest issue for them is the coaching, Smith replied:
“The biggest issue is not the coaching, the biggest issue is the Clippers,” Smith said. “You’re not wrong, you’re just not complete. It’s not just that they have the coaching, they have a more complete roster and they have better defenders. When you look at the combination of Kawhi, Paul George and Patrick Beverly, you got three elite defenders in your starting lineup with a coach who’s high with his motivational skills and then he adds the coach that coached LeBron for 3+ years, so you gotta take that into consideration as well.”
“... But, I do believe that the combination of Anthony Davis with a motivated LeBron James, even at age 35, I think he’s going to be a monster this year. The combination of those two can overcome all of those superlatives I threw out about the Clippers.”
What Smith said is what the majority of NBA fans believe. These two teams are the favorites to win the NBA championship next year and they are each other’s biggest competition to do so, so the battle of Los Angeles can and will decide the future of the league next season.