The Bulls will get their first look at the LeBron James-Anthony Davis dynamic duo when the Lakers visit the United Center on Tuesday. James has willingly let Davis take over as the No. 1 scoring option on offense, and LeBron could make a serious run at averaging a triple-double for the season since he handles ballhandling responsibilities in most of their half-court sets.
Health will be the key for Davis, since the Chicago native has been sidelined by a variety of injuries since entering the league. But if Davis can stay on the court for 70 games this season, he could make a serious run at the Most Valuable Player award. The 6-foot-11 forward-center put up a 40 point, 20 rebound game against Memphis last week and didn’t even play in the fourth quarter.
The Lakers figure to get stronger as the season progresses. First-year coach Frank Vogel will continue to experiment with his rotations, including how to maximize the talent of third-year forward Kyle Kuzma, who just recently returned to action after suffering an ankle injury while practicing with Team USA in advance of the World Cup tournament.
Former Bulls’ point guard Rajon Rondo also figures to take on a significant role once he’s ready to play following a calf injury suffered in training camp. The Lakers’ front office did a much better job of constructing a competitive roster around James this time around. Of course, adding a top 10 talent like Davis was the big move, but the Lakers also upgraded the perimeter talent by signing Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Troy Daniels, Jared Dudley and Quinn Cook.
Free agent center DeMarcus Cousins was lost for the season due to an ACL injury, but the Lakers should be fine with JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard providing interior defense and rebounding, with Davis taking over at center in crunch time.
We’re only two weeks into the new season, but already that all-L.A. conference finals series is looking like a pretty good bet. I can’t wait to see what the Clippers will look like once Paul George returns from shoulder injury to team up with Kawhi Leonard. You can bet the stars will be out for all the big games at Staples Center this season.