Lakers remain second NBA favorites despite aging roster with record five players aged 35
The Los Angeles Lakers are hoping they can claim a second NBA title in three years with a roster made up of new blood and aging veterans.
The Lakers are the second favorites to win the NBA title in 2022 after the Brooklyn Nets behind their “Big 3” of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN), the Lakers have a record five 35-year-old players on this year’s roster, including Carmelo Anthony (37), James (36), Trevor Ariza (36), Rajon Rondo ( 35) and Dwight Howard (35). Nine of the team’s 14 players are 32 or older, including DeAndre Jordan (33), Wayne Ellington (33), Westbrook (32) and Kent Bazemore (32). The team’s average age is 31, the oldest roster in the league.
“It’s not going to be easy, nobody said it was going to be easy,” ESPN’s Dave McMenamin told Dave McMenamin on Tuesday on media day. “It’s going to be tough, it’s going to be ups and downs and we have to figure it out sometimes, but the fact that we have the vets – not the old folks, but the vets that we have – I think that makes it right. . much easier.”
Load management numbers will play a huge role with the Lakers, but coach Frank Vogel and the stars of the squad will need to balance the need for rest with the importance of getting enough wins to get a seed in the Western Conference loaded.
A year ago, the Lakers suffered injuries to James (ankle) and Davis (groin) and ended up in the play-in tournament where they first had to face Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers won the game but went on to seed No.7 and lost to Devin Booker and the No.2 Phoenix Suns in six games.
Meanwhile, Davis, the youngest Lakers star at 28, has struggled with injuries throughout her career and has never played a full season. He’s played more than 68 games just twice since joining the league as Kentucky’s first pick in 2012.
This year he says he’s ready for an increased leadership role
“I think I have the capacity to do it …” he said. noted. “Guys told me about ‘this is your team, we go as you go. “”
James, meanwhile, said he was looking forward to “a very angry Anthony Davis”.
“A lot of guys spend the summer and they like posting their workouts and posting their workouts and posting everything they do,” James said. “If there’s one guy you haven’t seen this summer, until he got married last week, it’s Anthony Davis. But I know everything he was doing, working out, both in the weight room and also on the pitch.
“And he’s determined to – it’s not about proving people wrong – it’s about proving he’s right. I look forward to a very angry Anthony Davis. “
James, meanwhile, says he’s hungrier than ever to win a fifth NBA title at 36.
“I still have a burning desire within me to want to keep winning and winning the Larry O’Brien trophies at the end of the season,” he told ESPN’s McMenamin. “It has always been my goal, but I love the process more than anything and hope to put myself in a position where I can do it at the end of the season.”