The Los Angeles Lakers will look to defend their NBA title by leaning on improved depth while hoping stars like Anthony Davis and LeBron James can stay fit.
The Lakers are one of the most intriguing teams vying for glory in the 2021 NBA Playoffs. They have the make-up of a juggernaut but the seeding of an underdog. The first task is to see off the Golden State Warriors in the play-in tournament.
Assuming Anthony Davis, LeBron James and the rest of the Lakers can overpower Stephen Curry, the title defense can truly begin.
The Lakers’ 3 keys to success in the 2021 NBA Playoffs:
3. Stay healthy
The final weeks of the regular season were all about getting healthy for the Lakers. Anthony Davis had ease-in time returning from his Achilles injury while ailments limiting contributors are in the rearview. Worryingly, the plan to get LeBron James back and cooking hit a few snags.
James had to leave the finale after turning his ankle. That ankle kept him out for weeks after he sprained it, then further bothered him as the season wound down. The latest tweak shouldn’t stop him from playing on Wednesday, but it’s a reminder of the tightrope the Lakers are walking.
The fact of the matter is, the Lakers are a title contender because of Davis and James. They’re dependent on both of those stars being healthy and firing on all cylinders.
Ideally, the supporting cast will offer enough to manage James through the early stages of the playoffs.