Los Angeles Lakers: 3 midseason takeaways from 2019-20

(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
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /

1. Outstanding Team Chemistry

Two seasons ago the Lakers were the youngest, least-experienced team in the league. The team only won 35 games but had excellent chemistry together and a possible bright future.

But changes were made last season when management buttressed the roster by signing a collection of veterans, including LeBron. The team seemed well on its way to making the playoffs before injuries curtailed the season. But the Lakers seemed to lack camaraderie as youngsters and veterans struggled to get along together.

As a result of this season’s roster revamp, the Lakers are now one of the oldest, most experienced teams in the NBA. And their chemistry together is once again outstanding. A “one-for-all” atmosphere is readily apparent.

The Lakers bench is among the league’s most animated. The players explode with demonstrable joy whenever their teammates on the court succeed. Whether the cheerleader is LeBron James or Dwight Howard or Quinn Cook or Jared Dudley, or anyone in-between, the feeling appears genuine.

Cohesiveness and solidarity are not the required ingredients of a champion. Several teams have won titles despite bickering and turmoil between its players. But, obviously, a team is much more likely to succeed when the players are united toward a common goal.

As the midseason trade deadline approaches, speculation is rampant regarding possible changes the Lakers might make. The most common names circulated are Darren Collison and Andre Iguodala. And while Pelinka is unlikely to make any major moves, it’s certainly possible that he’ll tweak the roster a bit to advance the team’s championship drive. But hopefully, he’ll consider the impact any additions and subtractions would have on team chemistry.

In the final analysis, the Lakers have soared higher and quicker than most experts predicted. But there is still a long way to go before they can be crowned champions.

At the midpoint in the season, they have many positive factors going for them, including the superstar duo of AD and LBJ, a better-than-expected supporting cast, an excellent head coach and outstanding team chemistry. Lakers fans can only hope those same forces carry over into the second 41 games and more importantly, throughout the postseason.

All statistics courtesy of www.basketball-reference.com