With news coming in that Rajon Rondo will officially be back with the Los Angeles Lakers, I can almost hear the movie theme from “The Expendables” in the background.
Six of their players are 35 or older and their current average age sits at 31.
ALL STARS. Picture the year to be 2010. Dwight Howard is an All-Star. Rajon Rondo was one a year before. Trevor Ariza was part of the Houston Rockets that won the championship a year prior.
Of course, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony are All-stars and at the peak of their powers. James was the league MVP the year before.
But as you can see, that was a decade ago. What the Lakers essentially did was sponsor an All-Star reunion from 10 years ago and added Anthony Davis.
PROBLEM. Of itself, age may not be that much of a problem in this Lakers team if athleticism per se is your main issue. Westbrook plays like he’s still 25 and Lebron is still a beast. Davis is young and athletic, albeit injury-prone.
The main problem I have with this team is who is going to play defense.
Lebron is a good one-on-one defender, but the same cannot be said when it comes to rotation and team defense. Remember the infamous incident where Kyle Kuzma had to shove him to an opposing defender he was supposed to cover?
Westbrook is pure offense. Carmelo, Gasol and Ariza? Give me a break.
JAMES. Plus, of course, there is the chemistry issue. Westbrook is ball-dominant and cannot play otherwise. We’ve already seen him paired up with supertars like James Harden, Bradley Beal and Paul George. Neither of those worked out too well.
James also is ball-dominant as he is always his team’s focal point, both in offense and defense. How is that going to work?
Then you have Anthony Davis who needs to get his touches, get to his spots and have the ball in his hands in order for him to thrive.
And by the way, Westbrook and Rondo have no love lost for each other, so good luck with those two hotheads sharing ball-handling duties.
But of course, if there’s anybody in this league who can make this work, it’s Lebron. In fact, he’s the only person in the entire NBA who can pull this off. Westbrook will defer to him, and so will the others. But he certainly has his work cut out for him.
At the end of the day, however, to me it’s all about a healthy Lebron and Davis. These two alone are good enough to send this team to the NBA Finals, barring any injuries.
Westbrook can do a good job of carrying this team during the regular season while Lebron can be on cruise control.
At times, this expendables group will look spectacular. Problem is there are a lot of moving parts in this team. And those parts are a bit old, stubborn and squeaky.
LAST ROUND. It’s on Allen Resnera de Jesus, who recently celebrated his birthday. Cheers gaw!