Los Angeles Lakers: 3 inexperienced playoff players who could boom or bust

Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

These three Lakers don’t have much NBA playoff experience

The Los Angeles Lakers enter the NBA’s return to play initiative at Walt Disney World in Orlando a bit thin in some spots, thick in others, and with plenty of question marks around the margins.

Let’s get the bad out of the way. Rajon Rondo will be out for six to eight weeks and Avery Bradley is not joining the team at all due to his decision to opt-out of the NBA’s return to play in order to spend time with his family throughout the ongoing global pandemic.

That’s a significant hit no matter which way you splice it. Both players are solid perimeter defenders, at least at times. Bradley being a starter already starts to pick away at the team’s successful foundation, and Rondo is rotational, so pulling him out isn’t nothing.

The good? The team has insulated for these risks that were bound to come up in the bubble. Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith have both been added to the team and could very well launch into bigger roles right off the bat than anyone might have thought.

This team has plenty of experience. LeBron James is one of the most successful postseason NBA players of the 21st century. Danny Green is an NBA Champion. Other players throughout the roster like JaVale McGee, Dwight Howard, and the aforementioned newcomers in Waiters and Smith have varying levels of playoff experience.

There are three players, though, that are relatively major components of the roster which have not yet seen enough playoff success to say with certainty how they might respond to the heightened stakes.

Let’s look at each of them and evaluate their potential to boom or bust in the playoffs.

For the sake of this article, we’ll consider a “boom” a big jump up in performance relative to what they have been producing this season and “bust” a significant drop down in performance.