Probable Closing Unit
- PG: Dennis Schroder
- SG: Alex Caruso
- SF: LeBron James
- PF: Montrezl Harrell
- C: Anthony Davis
Last year during the playoffs, the Lakers beat down their opponents with their length and physicality. Every Lakers fan knows that strategy worked to perfection, and the Lakers won their first chip in a decade.
Rob Pelinka didn’t run it back like every other GM tends to do after his organization wins a title. Rob doubled down on his strategy and brought in four of the most physically imposing players in the league (Gasol, Matthews, Schroder, and Harrell).
The two most physical athletes from that group find their way into the closing unit.
Opposing point guards hate to play against Schroder. He picks up his assignments full court and harasses them the entire time they have the ball. If you get lazy for even a moment on your journey towards the half-court line, he’ll swipe you. Schroder’s a pest, and he takes pride in smothering point guards who think they’re better than him.
Montrezl Harrell might be the most physical player in the NBA. Watch him in person, and you’ll see guys on the opposing squad consistently bouncing off him and wincing after. Harrell prides himself on abusing other players. He’s not just a bruiser, though. He was second in the association in charges taken per game last season, and he plays with constant energy.
Alex Caruso’s a bully in his own right. The guy’s bigger and stronger than he looks. He couples his superb basketball IQ with his strength and quick feet to lock down the association’s most talented wings.
LeBron James showed last year during the playoffs that he is one of the best defenders in the NBA. LeBron James can lock down any wing on the perimeter, and as you all know, he’s too strong to be bullied on the block.
Anthony Davis is the best defender in the NBA. He’s a three-level horror. AD protects the rim like his box of treasure is nestled inside it. Davis is too long to shoot over in the midrange, and he’s too quick for guards to blow by on the perimeter.
The Lakers closing unit will manhandle other closing fives on defense next season.
Offensively they’ll have dozens of options. Here are a few of their choices:
- Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell can run pick and roll action.
- LeBron James and Montrezl Harrell can also team up for pick and rolls.
- Anthony Davis can work out of the post.
- LeBron James can go one-on-one.
- Dennis Schroder can go one-on-one.
- And on and on and on and on.
On offense, this unit will be impossible to contain.
The Lakers first-stringers, bench unit, and closing five make this version of the Purple and Gold the NBA’s next superteam.