After the 2022-23 season conference finals heartbreak, the Los Angeles Lakers would look to bounce back to cross the finish line the next season. The brand new 2023-24 NBA season will commence next week. And the purple and gold are pitted against defending champions, Denver Nuggets, for the season opener.
Los Angeles Lakers have worked hard this off-season to bolster the 14-man squad. The loose ends were tied by Rob Pelinka, ensuring enough depth stays available on the deck during crucial stretches. However, a former NBA champion and Milwaukee Bucks star has played down the hype surrounding the purple and gold while making a bold prediction on the coming season.
Andrew Bogut Says Lakers Won’t Reach Playoffs In 2023-24 NBA Season!
The Los Angeles Lakers made significant roster changes during the offseason, including the acquisition of several veteran players. They added names like Gabe Vincent and Christian Wood, joining LeBron James and Anthony Davis in what is considered a star-studded lineup. On paper, this new-look team appeared formidable. That prompted fans and analysts to predict a top-tier finish. However, former NBA champion Andrew Bogut seems to believe otherwise. In a recent interview, he predicted LA would finish at number 10 in the Western Conference by the end of the 2023-24 regular season. Meaning the purple and gold would miss out on the playoffs.
While Andrew Bogut must have had his reasons, the Lakers do not seem anywhere close to finishing outside the top five in the West. They have a much better and stronger roster compared to last season. Even with an imbalanced roster, they managed to feature in the conference final last season. Thus, with new faces in the squad, LA remains the top contender for a championship next season. LeBron James would look to finish on a high, whereas Anthony Davis will embrace the new leadership role. The likes of D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, and Rui Hachimura would look to prove why they are the future of the franchise. On the other hand, the new guys like Gabe Vincent and Christian Wood would try to justify their signings. Overall, the entire roster looks like a force to be reckoned with on paper, with higher odds of delivering the same potential on the court.
Darvin Ham Issues Injury Update Ahead Of Season Opener Vs. Nuggets!
Meanwhile, ahead of the season opener vs. Denver Nuggets, as many as three Lakers players are facing an injury scare. Gabe Vincent, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Jalen Hood-Schifino are doubtful for the crucial game against the Nuggets. Darvin Ham, the team’s head coach, shared injury updates on all three players in question.
Jarred Vanderbilt (left heel soreness) is day-to-day, per Darvin Ham. Gabe Vincent is cleared to play on opening night in Denver. Jalen Hood-Schifino is still being evaluated.— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) October 21, 2023
Gabe Vincent is available, as his absence in the pre-season game seemed a precautionary one. As far as Jarred Vanderbilt is concerned, he has soreness in his left heel and still remains day-to-day. Still no clarity on his availability. On the other hand, Jalen Hood-Schifino (knee contusion) is yet to undergo a final evaluation. Thus, his availability for the Lakers’ season opener vs. the Nuggets is also uncertain. Luckily, the team now has the privilege of depth to cover for the absent players, unlike the 2022-23 NBA season.