The Season Starts Today! The Lakers are Legit Title Contenders. Plus, Jrue Holiday to Boston.
The long offseason is over. The season starts today, as training camp kicks off with Media Day and the first official practices.
And it promises to be an exciting season for the Lakers, who are undoubtedly in the mix of the most elite teams in the NBA. Should they stay healthy - a fairly big if given the age and injury histories of their stars - LA seems likely to be one of the two or three best teams in the West, which makes them one of the best teams in the league.
Nice spot to be.
So when the Lakers open camp, it's going to be about how to keep LeBron and Anthony Davis healthy and fresh, about finding the right lineup combinations, and maxing out the impressive depth available on the roster. Two players that have big roles to play that aren't stars? Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura. Both had a lot of attention paid to them last week when Rob Pelinka and Darvin Ham med the media. Reaves was the recipient of high praise from Pelinka, who compared him to Kobe Bryant as an owner of "the Mamba gene." Not that he's as good as Kobe (nobody even kind of thinks that) but Pelinka noted the similarities in competitive drive and commitment, and it's worth noting how much Bryant appreciated players who maxed out their talent. And while Reaves has more of it than perhaps NBA scouts thought, he's certainly not resting on any laurels.
Fair to say Kobe would have loved the guy.
Meanwhile, Hachimura has experienced what Pelinka called a renaissance since coming to the Lakers. And they expect that to continue. One reason to be optimistic? Context with role players is critical, and the Lakers believe that, especially next to LeBron, Hachimura has been put in the best position to succeed.
Finally, big news in the Western Conference... as Jrue Holiday's stay in it was very short. And while Lakers fans might not love his destination -- he's once again put the Celtics at the top of the odds list after being traded from Portland to Boston -- it's a lot better that he land with an Eastern Conference contender than turning a team like the Clippers into a much more potent squad.
HOSTS: Andy and Brian Kamenetzky
SEGMENT 1: The Lakers open training camp today, and the vibes are really solid.
SEGMENT 2: Jrue Holiday was traded to the Celtics, and that's good for the Lakers.
SEGMENT 3: The Lakers will be depending on Hachimura and Reaves, and are excited at the prospect.
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