Los Angeles Lakers Team-Up


Lakers Assemble!

Now we all know that super heroes are all that matter nowadays. Whether it’s their own movie or just a cameo, it’s the interactions with other heroes that we crave to see in spectacular, special-effects heavy, fashion. That being said, let’s not forget some of our own Los Angeles super heroes, the Lakers. With their new seasoned leader LeBron James down to some of the bench players like Caruso, let’s see how these Lakers stack up to the characters of Marvel’s MCU (including Marvel’s Netflix shows). 

But first take let us a moment to recognized not just our first comparison but the loss of this talent who is:

DeMarcus Cousins – The Hulk

Unfortunately, due to injury, DeMarcus is looking like a non-factor for the first part of the season but in a way that makes his comparison all the more suited for him. Here’s a hint, after every dunk, think “SMASH!”. That’s right, Cousins could easily be The Incredible Hulk.

The Hulk is a large, quick, and strong hero whose personality can sometimes be considered a bit villainous. He can be ostracized by some who fear his aggression and tenacity. Aside from all that The Hulk’s contributions to any fight never goes unnoticed just like having Cousins on the court. Cousins is a big that is quick and has a decent jumper. Cousins can take you in the paint or drill the 3 without missing a beat and still block your shot down the court. Averaging over 45% from the field for his career and cleaning the boards with 10+ per game plus his defensive prowess makes Hulk, I mean Cousins, a valuable asset on any team.

We don’t really have an idea of how Cousins’ future will turn out due to injury and the unpredictable nature of the game. Just like Hulk losing his arm and Cousins losing a healthy ACL, we can only hope that they recover and return a little wiser, a little humbled, and ready to smash through any obstacle in their way.

Quinn Cook – Iron Fist

Cook is a bit new and a little younger than some of the Lakers’ roster but that doesn’t mean Cook can’t cook it up in Los Angeles’ purple and gold. His budding floor general skills and quickness are valuable assets but not quite there to be a full-blown starter. Thus, we are making Cook’s comparison a little outside the MCU and pairing him with Iron Fist. 

Iron Fist is the best fighter out there with his powerful fists and martial arts. But Iron Fist is still just a young man who learns from his older crime fighting friends. Cook will have worked alongside the Splash Brothers and now the King, LeBron James, and will continue to develop his skills as the older generations begin to drop out. Cooks offensive scoring can become a true value to the team if he can continue to absorb the skills he’s been and is being surrounded by.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – The Winter Soldier

KCP is The Winter Soldier. They both may have a past that came back to haunt but when you need a good shot, they both deliver. KCP may have hit a few rough patches on his road down the purple and yellow brick road but he has proven himself to be a trustworthy and productive teammate on the court. His ability to score at a very respectable rate is admirable at the least and necessary at its best.  KCP can make or break a game when he is feeling himself and is a valued bench player since his time began in Los Angeles. Just like the Avengers took in Bucky (The Winter Soldier) the Lakers have taken in KCP and have allowed him to learn and become a better, more efficient scorer.

Alex Caruso – Ant-Man

Caruso’s small stature and big plays remind me of an MCU character who appears small but makes giant impacts. Caruso can most be attributed to being similar to Ant-Man. The clever thief who admires all the Avengers but can hold their own when given the opportunity. 

Caruso’s energetic plays and high-flying antics make for a great spectacle, like watching a man grow to the size of a building. Though he is not a seasoned veteran or spunky newbie, he definitely is a talent to watch for. Keep your eye on him too or he might just fly over your head and pound in down the net. Caruso may be a little new but he has already ingratiated himself into the team’s style. Ant-Man was the regular thief who was given the chance to be a hero and put in his time just like Caruso’s journey to the NBA. Caruso has even made the headlines as a potential star guard for the Lakers. Reminds me of Captain America asking for Ant-Man’s help. Sometimes you need a sleeper to surprise the enemy.

Dwight Howard – Vision

Dwight has a very interesting history with the Lakers and now he is back and everyone is waiting to see what happens. On paper, Howard seems like the second coming of Shaq but nothing in his career can suggest that that was even a close comparison. Let me explain. Howard is no rookie when it comes to defense ( 4x All- Defensive 1st Team, 3x DPOY) but he never lived up to his offensive potential nor he rim pounding potential. Plagued by rumors of lack of competitiveness and drive, Howard can’t help but remind me of Vision. Vision, the android infinity stone hybrid worthy to lift the God of Thunder’s hammer who never really did anything but destroy an already beaten down Ultron. Vision’s strength is never tested and his potential is never shown as he is easily taken out by Thanos in what would be the missing piece to Thanos’ plan.

That being said Howard has yet to reflect what his physical stats would typically suggest his contributions would be to a team. Even with his defensive accolades Howard hasn’t made relative defensive news around the league since his 2012 season (Last All Defensive 1st Team award). Howard and Vision both could potentially be powerful driving forces in their respective fields but both have gone MIA. Will either one be able to return to former glory and prove themselves?

Marvel pictures are hard to find legally, so instead of a pic of Vision please enjoy the picture of the visionary that made this all possible, Stan Lee!

JaVale McGee – Luke Cage

Funny how McGee and Cook both came from a championship squad of the Warriors and are comparable to MCU Netflix division of heroes. McGee has many similar attributes relative to a Harlem hero, Luke Cage. Both are senior members of their respective groups and both have protective duties. Luke Cage with his bulletproof skin and McGee with his pick and roll skills both provide steady protection and scoring (fighting for Luke) for loved ones. McGee is not the best center but he can contribute when he truly finds his rhythm. This is a shorter comparison simply due to the fact that both hero and athlete can make a splash but there are much bigger fish in the sea.

McGee needs to focus his attention on more scoring and better rebound numbers, especially with Cousins out. McGee can become a valued member of the team with the coming opportunities this season but hopefully he doesn’t get cancelled like Luke.

Danny Green – Hawkeye

Danny Green has always been a sharpshooter. He’s been around the league for some time and has been established as a genuine scorer in the league. He’s had the opportunity to learn under Gregg Popovich, win with multiple teams, and now ball with the King.  Wherever he’s gone, count that he’ll make that shot for you. Danny Green is your mercenary Hawkeye. 

Hawkeye’s skills were established before joining the Avengers and has always been a reliable teammate. Hawkeye’s accuracy is his best tool and he may not be a “super” hero but he can make some key shots that the team may just need. Green encompasses these attributes as he has been a contributor to both Spurs and Raptors during Championship seasons and now joins a team that some deem as Championship contenders. If Green can find a steady rhythm wit the Lakers and play his role as sharpshooter, he can make a big impact throughout the season.

Kyle Kuzma – Spider-Man

Under Roos!

It’s obvious isn’t it? Kuzma is the Spider-Man of the Lakers Universe. Being one of the only young players to survive the trade fiasco for AD, Kuzma has positioned himself as a young and ascending talent for the Lakers. His fundamental understanding of the game and ability to adapt has made him a valued player to the team who’s poised to lead at some point during his tenure as a Laker. Just as Spider-Man was tailored to replace Iron Man (before the Sony dropout) Kuzma is a Laker and looks to stay a Laker for some time. Kuzma’s chemistry with LeBron also makes him an invaluable asset to a team that is gonna have to spend some of the season finding a rhythm in which Kuzma and James have found.

Rajon Rondo – War Machine

Being one of the most experienced guards and players of the team, Rondo represents a veteran presence that has been witness to the changing landscape of the game and adapting themselves to stay relevant. Rondo is one of the more respected guards who plays with a raw passion for the game. Rondo is War Machine. War Machine is the military vet who joins the Avengers after receiving an Iron Man like suit. He in a way, like Rondo, saw the rules of engagement change and adapted themselves to the new landscape.

Rondo has not always been the greatest regular season guard but he knows what to do when it counts. Rondo has had many great performances in clutch situations including a stellar defensive performance against the Lakers in 2008 to clinch a championship. Though Rondo and War Machine are older men playing a young man’s game they both have the experience and skillset to produce.

Anthony Davis – Blank Panther

The newest member to the Lakers squad is also one of the most talented in the entire league. AD’s trade decision was second only to where the Raptor’s Champion Khawhi Leonard would go. AD had been hidden away in a small market team that hasn’t had much success on the road to the Finals. His talent did not go unrecognized and his potential had no limit but he was never in the limelight. AD is the Black Panther of the NBA. 

Think of New Orleans as Wakanda hiding their valued AD from the rest of the league. Now he is exposed and given the opportunity to thrive in a market as big as his talent. AD can hold his own against pretty much anyone currently in the league and Black Panther never really needed help from anyone. Now imagine the potential of AD playing alongside a talent such a LeBron.

Just like Wakanda revealing themselves to the world as a great nation, it’s AD’s chance to play on the big stage to help create a great Championship team.  AD has been unleashed upon the league with multitudinous opportunities to make a name for himself and truly establish himself in the league as a champion. The possibilities are only limited by the work produced by all the pieces of the Lakers machine.

LeBron James – Iron Man

Now it should be no surprise that this all ends and begins with who is considered the best player of the game actively playing, LeBron James. The unquestioned leader and legendary monster of a player is the most experienced winner they have. Just like Iron Man who is able to compete against any opponent presented in the MCU there is practically no one James is incapable of handling. James’ leadership and intellectual understanding of the game makes him the most valuable and skillful player on the roster. Let alone his natural physical ability.

Iron man has always been the vocal leader of the Avengers taking responsibilities for mistakes and usually being the solution to a problem the team can’t deal with.  Though LeBron’s greatness has been proven throughout an interesting career he has proven himself human as father time has begun to dwindle his production level.  Last year’s injury completely decimated the Lakers season showing the downside to all players and heroes. Eventually their era will end and a new will rise. But in the meantime, we still have the great ones to watch before their time is up.

Maybe this Lakers team will be able to handle themselves faster than anticipated and bring a great NBA season back to Los Angeles. Maybe they’ll add some valued power pieces throughout the season. Whatever they do, they look poised to create an awesome season for Los Angeles and hopefully bring balance to the force (oops… wrong franchise). 

The Avengers may fight to save the world but the Lakers are fighting to save L.A.

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