Going into the new NBA season, we’ve seen several teams significantly improving their rosters, especially those who were championship contenders in the previous season. The most notable changes were made by the Los Angeles Lakers, who added quite a few new players on their roster, hoping this group of veterans could lead them to another title. If you ask most fans and analysts which teams they would like to see next year in the NBA Finals, the majority would probably say the Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets.
If this matchup comes to a realization, it would be the best for the NBA marketing-wise since there are so many All-Stars on both teams alongside underlying stories connecting various players from both teams. To simply put it, that would be a true spectacle for every basketball fan in the world.
Even though it’s still too early to make any predictions, the question that presents itself is which team has better chances of winning a championship or in a direct matchup between each other. According to former NBA player and current analyst Kenny The Jet Smith, the Lakers have the upper hand in a direct matchup against the Nets.
Even though he admits we still haven’t seen both teams play, the main argument Smith brought up is the versatility Lakers have and the player personnel that has a better chance to win against the Nets.
Neither one of them we’ve seen play, honestly. Just to be really fair about it, when Brooklyn played their best, one of those guys was always out last year. When they were all together, we never had the chance to see it.The one thing I will say is that the Lakers would probably naturally play better easily. Anthony Davis doesn’t need to handle the basketball to be productive. Russell Westbrook can pass, assist and rebound to be productive. LeBron doesn’t need a basketball to be productive. When the Nets are at their best, their best players score. With one basketball, it would be easier for Lakers to adjust, to play better together. Will they? I don’t know cause we haven’t seen it, but I think it would be easier for the Lakers.Kenny Smith, via ESPN
Even though the Lakers have the oldest team in the NBA, there is no question everyone will come prepared to play 82 games in their respective roles within the team. They have guys that can do multiple things really well, and their versatility should be a factor against any team in the league. How long will it take them to build the necessary chemistry remains to be seen; however, there is no question all those veteran players will find a way to make it work.
The Nets, on the other hand, are a team with so much hidden potential that we haven’t had the opportunity to see last season. We’ve seen Harden, Irving, and Durant play together on rare occasions because of injuries that created multiple problems for the team. If health works in their favor and they build on the chemistry they had last year; the sky is the limit for this squad in Brooklyn. That amount of talent, when healthy, can take on any team, and I don’t think Lakers’ versatility would be enough to stop them in a seven-game series.