Los Angeles Lakers: 10 best moments of 2010’s

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
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6. Their hot start to the 2019 season

There are plenty of reasons why the Lakers have one of the best records in the league at this point in the season. Yes, they have two of the top five players in the league with LeBron and AD, but they also have a solid group of role players as a supporting cast.

For most of the 2019 regular season, the Lakers have been one of the top seeds in the Western Conference and have boasted one of the best records in the league. At one point they sat at 24-3 and almost broke the record for consecutive road wins in a row. A four-game losing streak humbled them to seven losses, but they still sit at 27-7, with the best record in the Western Conference.

That roster combination has allowed them to be one of the better teams in the league on both offense and defense. Defensively they currently lead the league in blocks per game and are second in steals per game. Offensively, they are second in the league in field goal percentage and have the fifth-best offensive rating in the league.

One area where the Lakers could still use some improvement is their shooting. Their 3-point and free throw shooting percentages are ranked towards the bottom half of the league. The shooters they signed to solve that problem like Danny Green, Quinn Cook, and Troy Daniels have all failed to make the impact many expected them to.

However, the Lakers are remedying their shooting problems by dominating in other facets of the game on offense. They rank second in the league in points in the paint and third in the league in fast-break points per game, so their style more mimics the Showtime Lakers than that of the modern NBA.

Not only do they dominate the paint on offense, but they are also the best team in the league at defending it. Both Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee, and Dwight Howard are in the top 20 in the league in blocks per game, so the Lakers have an intimidating shot blocker on the floor at all times. This has allowed them to be the fifth-ranked team in opposition points in the paint per game.

In the era of the 3-pointer, it is risky to assume that the Lakers can ride their heavy interior style of play to another championship. Yet if they are able to add another shooter at the trade deadline or get an improvement from any of the sharpshooters already on the roster, they should have enough talent to make a deep playoff run into June.

This season marks the first point since early in the decade where Lakers are truly heavy contenders to win their 17th Larry O’Brien trophy. All of their struggles in the eight seasons prior will be quickly forgotten, and this would rank higher on the list if they can pull that off this season.