The Lakers vs. The Nets, the best is yet to come: an examination of the two top teams in the NBA.
Background on why these teams are the most successful---
You’ll need to know who's on what team. Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden are on the Nets. On the other side, Lebron James, Russell Westbrook, and Anthony Davis are on the Lakers.
Why these two teams, when they don’t even play each other until the playoffs. They are teams who will dominate this upcoming season, get to the playoffs and show the other teams who is really the best. The Lakers real opponent is the Phoenix Suns and they are not strong enough to get to the finals because Chris Paul is older and out of his prime, he cannot put up the proper numbers, and Devin
Lakers Anthony Davis winning the tip off Booker along with Deandre Ayton are carrying
at Staples Center; Picture taken by plus, there is former rookies on the team
Brian Rothmuller; courtesy of NBC Sports The only real opponent that these two teams
have is the reigning NBA champion; the
Milwaukee Bucks. Each year teams plan to win a title, the Bucks are going for back to back and the Lakers are going to try win it the second time in 3 years. Harden, who has never won a championship, is looking to win one , while Kyrie and Durant are looking for their second championship
With the next season coming soon, each team is recovering from injuries. Anthony Davis from an achilles injury and Lebron after a hurt ankle. The Nets who were battling injuries all season still had a great season, and were able to pull through into the playoffs. Now each team is healthy and better than ever, looking to have bounce back seasons. The prediction is still undecidable but, there are still heavy odds on the Nets because the Lakers are filled with veteran’s of the NBA. Looking at the numbers from last year The Nets were the better team, but the Lakers
were injured almost all year. These teams have to stand out this off-season because the addition of Russell Westbrook greatly improved the team. Making the Lakers and the Nets one of the top teams in the NBA. They are going to try and stop the Milwaukee Bucks from winning a second championship in a row. The Lakers built this team for a big reason, to win and pass the Celtics in all time championship wins. That is a very impressive feat to pass, knowing the Celtics have been on top for many years.
Lakers/Nets Big Three; statistics and numbers for their career.
In Anthony Davis's whole career he has averaged 23 pts, 10 reb, and 2 assists, while Lebron has averaged 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. Lebron has put up really good numbers from his alley-oops he is able to do on fast breaks, dunking the ball hard on other opponents, shooting threes from all different angles. He is one of the best to step foot on a basketball court. throughout his whole career, and sometimes even better than he normally does. Westbrook has averaged 23 pts, 7 reb, and 8 ast. On this team they have two really solid and versatile players who
can pass and score. On the other hand Kyrie has averaged 22 points, 3 reb, and 5 ast, KD has averaged 25 points, 7 reb, and 4 ast. Lastly Haren has averaged 25 pts, 5 reb, and 6 ast. Overall the Nets team has a lot of scorers who would rather shoot than pass. That could hurt them and did hurt them during last season.
Lakers 3-PT Percentages
Westbrook - 30%
James - 34.5%
Davis - 31.2%
Nets 3-PT Percentages
Harden - 36.3%
Durant - 39.1%
Nets Title Odds - +350
Lakers Title Odds - +350
In conclusion, the Nets have a lot better shooters from the three-point line. They are more consistent with making shots. Although the Nets are better shooters, the Lakers have always had solid defense, so the matchup could be interesting, going that way the nets dominate other teams on offense but not defensively. On the other hand, the Nets have dominated other teams defensively, but also have shown solid offense too. With the addition of Russell they added more power and explosiveness, Making the Lakers a tough team to beat. On the floor the Lakers have more size with AD, Lebron, Dwight Howard, and Marc Gasol, making the team a tough team to beat on offense when driving and defending at the basket. The Lakers have a very athletic team along with the Nets. The Lakers are still stronger because they have a team full of well rounded veterans who have been in the league for years, who can score, pass, shoot, and defend. On the other hand, the Brooklyn Nets have a super team full of shooters who can drive to the basket too. But, the Nets have a lot of players who like to play individually, and that can affect the team a lot. This team has already been built for a year and did not work out. So the question is will it work out this year.
Lakers and Nets on the Rise
The Lakers have been a dominant franchise for many decades, winning 17 championships. This is tied for 1st place along with the Celtics for most championships won. On the other hand, the Nets, who have not been very good for many decades but now they are on the rise, are one of the best teams in the league along with the lakers. The question is who will come out on top between the two.
AD, Lebron James, Russell Westbrook and the Lakers, or Harden, Kyrie and Durant. We cannot underestimate the Bucks in this situation too because they have a chance to take down one of these teams, which they already did.
Lebron James dunking against his
opponent at Staples Center;
picture taken by Ben Pickmen
courtesy of Sports illustrated.
Nets and Lakers Home and Road Splits
Home: 28-8, away: 20-16, conference record, 26-16 Lakers, Home, 21-15 away 21-15, conference record, 25-17
Last year the Nets did much better in each of the categories of wins to losses. Taking note that comes down to who’s healthy and who’s injured. The Nets did have key players injured but, most of the time they had the right guys in to win. On the other hand Lebron and AD were injured in the second half of the season with an ankle injury, while AD injured his achilles. Speaking on that note the Lakers had a tough season with injuries and they did not have Westbrook.
Kyrie beating his defender Troy Brown and driving to the basket at Capital One Arena; picture taken by Tyler Conway courtesy of Bleacher Report
The Lakers longest losing streak last season was 4 games, where the Nets longest losing streak was also 4 games.
Even though the Nets have had their setbacks the last season and they should have won. I think they were just getting started. They have a super team who have played together for years. On the other hand the Lakers Westbrook has never played with lebron so it will be interesting who wins that matchup. Kyrie a scorer vs westbrook and key passer and mid range threat.
The Strength and Potential of each Team
The Nets who developed their team last year from kyrie to KD to Harden
They have been injured and lackluster the whole season, they were the team favored to win it all. But they came short or will they rise to the challenge which they should be able to do. Westbrook coming off a great season, Lebron coming off of injury, and so is AD. Or will the Bucks take their rightful spot on top like last year? The Nets team is really strong when you are looking at them, they have good offense and good potential. When you look at them from a different perspective the Nets have all offense and little
defense. That could hurt them in situations, when they play teams with great offense because the game is a lot closer. For example
the bucks average 120.1 pts per game. When they let up that many points the game gets a lot harder to win. When you look at the lakers they are full throttle offense with also great defense from Lebron and AD.
Kyrie beating his defender Troy Brown and driving to
the basket at Capital One Arena; picture taken by
Tyler Conway courtesy of Bleacher Report
Story Written by Ryan Lock '23