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SHOWTIME | Season 3: Redemption

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"Disappointing, uh, very disappointing. I felt we could have had a much better season, and the overall outcome was disappointing after we came off a championship-winning season."
Image result for lebron james press conference loss
[LeBron James following the Lakers 4-2 loss to Golden State in the 2nd Round of the Western Conference Playoffs.]
After winning 4-1 against the Utah Jazz in the first round, the Lakers would meet a surprising foe... the ex-Laker Victor Oladipo, and the Golden State Warriors, after their shocking upset of the Kawhi Leonard & Damian Lillard-led Portland Trail Blazers. The Lakers would eventually lose the series despite a heroic effort from LeBron James and Lonzo Ball, with injuries to key rotation players Josh Hart (Torn MCL), and Montrezl Harrell (Broken Left Leg) hamstringing them depth-wise, with James averaging 27/9/7 on 52/38/73 numbers, while Lonzo played the best basketball of his life, averaging 14.2 points and 9.7 assists on 42% 3PT shooting, to go along with 2.1 steals per game.
With the loss, the former NBA Champions would be bounced in the first round, with LeBron having his earliest playoff exit since 2010. With many people free agents, such as Marc Gasol and Buddy Hield, LeBron James had a cryptic answer, saying he's focused on what went wrong in the series, not Free Agency. In the East, it would be the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics battling for the right to face the Houston Rockets in the NBA Finals. In the end, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving would propel the Celtics into a Rockets/Celtics final.
In the finals, the Boston Celtics would show their cracks, as Isaiah Thomas, after being a productive 6th man all season, did not play up to task. With a monster performance in Game 5 from James Harden (58 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists), the Harden-led squad would prevail in five, winning their first championship with the high-octane offense centered around Harden and Gallinari's shot-creation, and shooters littered around the perimeter in Eric Gordon, Derrick White, PJ Tucker, Jeff Green, all while allowing Clint Capela to snag every rebound imaginable.
With the Rockets now champions, the NBA has posed several big rule changes. The biggest being the reseeding of all 16 playoff teams, once the playoffs begin to seed them by record. There is a lot of steam that this rule will get approved and installed in time for the new season, as the offseason will see a lot of moving and shaking, with contenders looking to perfect their time, and fringe playoff teams looking to become contenders...
And of course, the underwhelming Los Angeles Lakers. With all the turmoil surrounding the team regarding Marc Gasol potentially being unhappy, the Oladipo drama mid-season, will the LeBron James-led Showtime find a way to return to untouchable contender status with The King going into his 18th season, and Age-36 season? Or will the inevitable drop for The King be too much for the Lakers to combat. With another second round exit under his belt, Anthony Davis could be on the move from Chicago.
Could a Davis/James pairing suffice from the disappointment?



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Image result for 1-16 playoff seeding
It's Official: 2020-2021 Will Feature 1-16 Seeding for Playoffs
After teases and teases, the owners officially voted on the 1-16 seeding purposal today, and it will indeed happen. The vote was 24-6, so it barely got the 23 neccesary votes to put the rule into action. The six teams who voted no? The Thunder, the Pelicans, the Trail Blazers, the Magic, the Grizzlies, and the Hornets, six smaller market teams. With that question now in the past, the question of the offseason becomes: Where will Anthony Davis end up? Los Angeles or Chicago?
With AD being a Klutch Sports Guy, all signs are pointing towards Los Angeles, but without a sign and trade, which Chicago has to cooperate with, the cap numbers for the Lakers signing Anthony Davis doesn't favor them. But we will see if Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka can do the unthinkable and pair Anthony Davis with an aging LeBron James, and young stud Lonzo Ball.

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Image result for anthony davis lakers
Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers agree to sign and trade for Anthony Davis:
As Anthony Davis informed the Chicago Bulls he intended to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, it was clear the Lakers would have to do some cap gymnastics to get the 26 year old superstar in the Purple and Gold. It was agreed that Buddy Hield (signing a new 3 year, 69.5 million deal), Marc Gasol, Marcus Morris Sr., Landry Shamet, and Josh Hart would be sent to Chicago for Anthony Davis (5 year, 191.4 million deal), and Denzel Valentine, pairing LeBron James and Lonzo Ball with Anthony Davis, creating a very intimidating big 3, if Lonzo makes the leap he's expected to make.
In other moves, as the 'AD' news became official, the Los Angeles Lakers traded their first round picks, G Killain Hayes, and G Nico Mannion, to the Minnesota Timberwolves for none other than their 2019 first round pick, Tyler Herro, adding Herro to a core four of AD, LeBron, Zo, and Trez. Jeff Green, a former LeBron teammate, would be the next man to sign with the Lakers, adding some much needed depth to the squad, as with a limited big man free agent class, the Lakers signed Tyson Chandler to be their starting center.
When asked about Chandler's role, Coach Dwane Casey revealed he will most likely start and play 13-15 minutes a game, not overworking the center but allowing Anthony Davis to play his preferred position of the 4, and allowing Montrezl Harrell to come off the bench as a 6th man, a place where he thrived last year for Los Angeles, but will still see his usual minutes.


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Image result for anthony davisImage result for lebron jamesImage result for lonzo ball
Image result for montrezl harrellkrmYXGa.jpg?1tVGUMns.jpg?1
Image result for jeff greenImage result for alex carusoKigX6t2.jpg?1
Image result for denzel valentineDgoS3nw.jpg?1ygid899.jpg?1
Image result for wesley iwunduImage result for darius miller
#23 LeBron James - #3 Anthony Davis - #2 Lonzo Ball
#5 Montrezl Harrell - #14 Tyler Herro - #9 Andre Iguodala
#11 Jeff Green - #0 Alex Caruso - #6 Tyson Chandler
#45 Denzel Valentine - #12 Goga Bitadze - #4 Danuel House Jr.
#1 Wesley Iwundu - #7 Darius Miller
Two-Way Players: G/F Issac Bonga & G/F Terrence Mann



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Image result for lonzo ball knee injury
Lonzo Ball RULED OUT to begin the season, recovering from Torn Meniscus:
The Lakers will be without starting guard Lonzo Ball to begin the season, as Ball recovers from surgery on his torn meniscus he suffered in Game 6 against the Warriors. With the Lakers having a fantastic roster, pairing two top-five players in the world, in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the injury to Lonzo keeps the team from developing chemistry as they incorporate Davis, which will be key to a championship victory this season.
It is expected Lonzo Ball will return in late November/early December, and until then, coach Dwane Casey has stated he will take advantage of all-time great LeBron James' ability to handle the ball and he will start at Point Guard to begin the season for the Lakers, as they open against the new-look Kings this week. Below is a preview of the season opening matchup:



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