The Lakers are off to a hot start! They have a 7-1 record and sit in first place in the Western Conference. Give them the Larry O’Brien trophy now. There is no need to play the rest of the season. The city of Angels and Banners is ready to sit atop the throne. The Purple and Gold streamers can rain down now as LeBron James leads a third franchise to the promised land.
Well….actually the brakes need to be pumped, but there is reason for optimism with the Lakers. Dwight Howard is playing out of his mind on the defensive end. He can switch onto guards in the pick-and-roll and stay in front of them. Howard was supposed to be washed and a low-risk, low-reward signing, but he might be integral to the team’s defense. Rajon Rondo is doing his part and being an unselfish leader by sitting out games with a mysterious calf injury. Rondo realizes that his return might take away ball handling responsibilities from the Lakers “star” player Alex Caruso.
The more said about Caruso the better. He has proven to be much more than a meme. He is obviously not the greatest player of all time, but he plays his role well. Caruso moves the ball as a primary ball handler and competes on defense. He can also, from time to time, put guys on a poster (shout-out Maxi Kleber).
Ultimately, through seven games the story for the Lakers is their two superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. It turns out that James may not be washed after all. Honestly, LeBron being washed is definitely a straw man Lebron is using himself.The man recorded three straight triple-doubles and looks to be as dominant as ever. Davis has done his part, with a 40-point, 20-rebound performance against the Memphis Grizzlies. Davis and LeBron can and should be the best superstar duo in the NBA. The raw talent of those two is unmatched.
There are many stories early on in this Lakers season. The role players are playing great, Frank Vogel has solid rotations, and Andre Iguodala (oh wait that’s not official yet..), but the championship will come if LeBron James and Anthony Davis ball out in clutch moments. Joker was a well-renowned movie because of Joaquin Phoenix, and the Lakers will be champions because of James, or the joke might be on The King and the Showtime team might not end up champions. Whatever the results, being in first place after years of mediocrity is pretty sweet.