Los Angeles Lakers are not having a good time for a couple of seasons. The Lakers did not qualify for the playoffs last season, and they are very close to repeating the same this season. Only 23 games to go, and Darvin Ham’s side is placed at the 13th seed of the table. The Western Conference has always been a challenging division. It will be tough for the Lakers to bounce back and start climbing the ladder.
Previously, the Front office thought they should have the big 3’s – Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis to spearhead the attack. However, that plan did not work out as well as the management thought it would. It took a lot of time for Pelinka to find an excellent deal to trade Westbrook.
A perfect deal means the GM gets to buy some players to cover the positions where the team lacks quality. But the Front Office has made some quality trades to make the roster a deep and balanced one before the trade deadline. General Manager, Rob Pelinka, has shown interest in bringing young talents to have a long-term plan for the franchise.
Some of these young players, like Rui Hachimura, Mo Bamba, D’Angelo Russell, and so on, might stay with the franchise for a long time. And these skillful players can provide quality support to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. With these changes, the Lakers have solved the problems they were facing at the beginning of the season. It is only natural to expect a balanced team to qualify for the playoffs. Albeit, the current standings are not looking too bright for the Lakers.
Why Pat Riley Thinks The Lakers Have A Shot?
But the new recruits have got the fans hoping to see the team turn things around. However, for the executive of the Miami Heat, Pat Riley, to think the Lakers have a chance to come back to title contention this season, there is a different reason. Actually, it is just one man for Riley who can make all the difference. It is LeBron James who was the star player of the Heat when they won two NBA Championships. Riley has been part of the Heat for a long time as a coach and as an executive. Hence, he has seen the King closely and knows what drives him to perform at the highest level, even at 38.
In hindsight, Pat Riley himself holds a pretty good record of winning Championships as a player, coach, and executive. He had his most successful time with the Lakers. For whom he won several seasons as a player, assistant coach, then as a coach had been the most successful. Hence Riley knows what it takes to win championships. It takes strong will, force, and desire that still get King James going even in his 20th NBA season. Pat Riley believes as long as LeBron James has faith in himself. He won’t rest till he gets what he wants. Winning championships has always been the biggest motivation for King James. Only time will tell if and when he will win his 5th NBA Championship.