Three Things That Need to Be on the Lakers Christmas List

Three Things that Need to Be on the Lakers Christmas List
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The NBA has been heating up this winter, with Christmas around the corner. The In-Season Tournament is seeing success, with the Los Angeles Lakers being undefeated in group play. LeBron James has been playing at an MVP level at 38 years old, carrying the Lakers most times to wins. However, even with a winning record as of today, the Lakers’ Christmas list should have plenty of presents to improve.

12 Days of Prime Anthony Davis

On the first day of Christmas, the Lakers gave me a prime Anthony Davis multiple days in a row. One of the main issues with the Lakers is Davis’ rollercoaster play. My article on how the Lakers can win the Finals this year mentioned this problem already, and it hasn’t improved. A perfect example of this issue is the past two Lakers games against the Mavericks and Jazz. Playing against Dallas, Anthony Davis put up 10 points on 4/10 shooting. However, against the Jazz the day before, he scored 26 points on 11/14 shooting and sat out the fourth quarter.

If Anthony Davis isn't bringing his best, there is no shot the Lakers will win the Finals this year.

One glaring issue with Davis is his inability to create his own shot. When the ball is given to him outside of the paint, he will settle for a contested midrange. From more than 8 feet, Davis is 19 for 63 (30.1%). Without someone such as D’Angelo Russell or LeBron James passing to him inside 8 feet, Davis struggles significantly.

There is an energy that can only be seen when watching the game that Davis brings when he is trying. But on the days he is not at his best and playing lazy, it brings the whole team down. He also signed an extension that has him making as much money as Giannis Antetokounmpo, who brings his all and more every night. It is one of the most frustrating sights for a Lakers fan, as we all know what Anthony Davis can be when he wants to be. Just last season, he went on a hot streak in November and December, where he was in talks of being the MVP. Sadly, an injury derailed that notion. This leads to the next wish on the Lakers’ Christmas list.

LeBron James’ Workload Lessened

LeBron James has been stellar this season, even at the age of 38.

LeBron James has looked like an MVP candidate this season. He is averaging 26/8/7 on 57% field goal percentage, all while playing the least amount of minutes in his legendary career. At 38 years old, it is hard to imagine that one day we won’t see LeBron in the league anymore. As for the Lakers, they would be terrible without the oldest player in the league carrying them to victories. In the very first game of the season, LeBron was on a minutes restriction. Ever since that game, he has only played under 30 minutes thrice, all due to blowouts. Without LeBron on the court, the team looks lost most of the time.

LeBron may look amazing right now, but we are only a month into the season. If he continues to play as hard as he does, he will run out of gas by playoff time. Other players need to step up to ease the workload LeBron has to handle for the team to win. Taurean PrinceAustin ReavesRui Hachimura, and D’Angelo Russell must step up and be more consistent for the Lakers to make any waves in the playoffs.

Alex Caruso Comes Home For Christmas

Alex Caruso was a major reason why the Lakers were able to win the 2020 NBA Finals.

The days of the Chicago Bulls’ current roster are limited. Zach LaVine has been in trade rumors for weeks now, along with most of the roster. Although there has been interest from the Lakers in Zach LaVine, it would be unwise to acquire him. Trading for LaVine and his humongous $215 million contract would be just as much of a mistake as the trade for Russell Westbrook a few seasons ago. However, LaVine isn’t the only Bull on the market. On the Lakers Christmas list, Alex Caruso is a gift that would fit perfectly with the Lakers.

Alex Caruso is a former Laker who won the 2020 championship with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. He plays suffocating defense and has been the one bright spot on the Bulls this season. If he were available, the Lakers should do whatever they can to acquire him. He is a perfect plug-and-play either in the starting lineup or off the bench. Trading a first-round pick and a player might sound like a steep price. But if the Lakers are serious about winning, they should pull the trigger.

The current roster of the Lakers still has chemistry to build with one another. After making it to the Western Conference Finals last season, the team has proven they have the talent. Over time, the consistency will show itself in the players who haven’t shown it. Alongside that, the return of Jarred Vanderbilt and Gabe Vincent will add even more depth for Darvin Ham to work with. And Ham has been using dozens of different lineups to see which players work best with each other. If the Lakers get what they want for Christmas, they will make waves in the Western Conference.

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