Editor’s note: This is the “Purple and the Bold Lakers” newsletter released by reporter Kyle Goon on Wednesday, January 13. To receive newsletters in your inbox, please sign up here.
A 117-100 turnover by the Lakers was the last straw in the agonizing relationship between Houston and James Harden. They said on Tuesday night: “I don’t think this can be solved.” Therefore, the Rockets finally made Harden. The required blockbuster trade sent him to the Brooklyn Nets for a four-team deal, including one ton of draft funds and former Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo as the highlight. return.
The part Lakers fans need to know: The Nets now have Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden. Everyone is thinking about a question: Is this good enough?
So far, the Lakers (9-3 as of this writing) seem to be in the circle. As of Wednesday morning, they were unbeaten on the road, and the urgency they played was best reflected in the “half speed.”
However, they still dominate: they rank first in defensive scoring (104.7 points per 100 possessions), sixth in offensive scoring (113.5), and second in net scoring (plus 8.8), second only to Milwaukee Bucks. Some of their weaknesses last season are now strengths: their three-point shooting percentage is 38.6%, and their scoring ranking is sixth (40.1 points). They are the best record in the NBA. This was within minutes of James hit a career low, and Anthony Davis missed two of those victories.
So, when the Lakers dominated, what caused a sensation in the NBA?
The Bucks must prove that they can win their meetings. Ditto for the Philadelphia 76ers, even though Joey Embiid did well at the beginning of the season, their shooting dilemma still exists. The Clippers may have been rewarded after their epic fall in the last playoffs, but they have to wait until the playoffs to prove it-their makeover is not as dramatic as the Lakers’ dramatic.
With Irving unsure to sit down at 6-6, the Nets seem to have a sense of urgency and need to shake the overall situation and seize the biggest opportunity: the deal is still the elite scorer Haden (Haden), he can play With the ball with former teammate Durant (Durant) and former coach Mike D’Antoni (Mike D’Antoni), it is conceivable that Brooklyn will leap to the position of the best contender in the Eastern Conference.
How does it work? Find enough service time for the three players whose usage rate exceeded 28% last season. They are all healthy. Assuming that Irving is a reckless point guard, he has missed every game since last Wednesday, and he has returned to the court and invested money. This may be a big assumption. But for hypothetical reasons, suppose he backed down before the end of the month.
Durant (29.9 points), Irving (27.1 points) and Harden (24.8 points) are all top 20 scorers and all three-point shooters. Assuming that Harden cheered up due to the trade and recovered, his danger may be much greater than in the previous two games. The basket’s shooting ability and scoring ability can make the Nets the best offensive team in the NBA, and all their stars can pass.
Does it match the Lakers? On the defensive end, the Nets may get worse by dropping guard Jarrett Allen and some young players. Durant’s defense is good, but he can’t defend Anthony Davis and James at the same time-will he be the team’s top scorer so far? Deand Jordan is more likely to defend Davis in the playoffs-politely, he is no longer at his peak.
Given that all three stars showed a moody side, which led to the disintegration of very good competitors, chemistry would become an issue. Durant strengthened the incarnation of the Rockets in Golden State. On the other hand, the Lakers seem to be very enthusiastic about chemistry, almost everyone is under contract, and people like Montrez Harrell and Dennis Schroeder perform well.
It is difficult to know how a new team will cooperate and play, but fortunately, we may not have to wait long: Brooklyn will come to Staples Center on February 18th, and this game will definitely attract attention. The Lakers seem to have mastered how to defend Harden, but as one of the three external threats, this will be a difficult task. Although both James and Davis are difficult to defend, no one has really succeeded in a 7-foot-tall cheating code like Durant.
The Lakers currently have the advantages of continuity, chemistry and the ability to play on both sides of the ball. But the sheer ambition of the latest NBA reorganization tells you: The Nets also want to win a championship, and they know the status quo is not feasible.
Not leading the Lakers as in the past.
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