Golliver: Lakers "Don’t Look Like A Contender"

The Clippers, not the Lakers, should be favored to win the West, Ben Golliver says

Reiter Than You
October 17, 2019 - 7:59 am
LeBron James Lakers

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When Anthony Davis was traded to Los Angeles this summer, the Lakers, many assumed, were the favorites to win the West – and, most likely, an NBA title.

Well, Washington Post NBA writer Ben Golliver isn’t so sure about that.

“To me, this preseason for the Lakers has gone pretty poorly,” Golliver said on Reiter Than You. “It’s not necessarily their fault. This China trip was a real doozy, but you’ve got Anthony Davis getting banged up, you got Kyze Kuzma banged up with his injury issues, and just watching them during training camp, they just don’t look like a contender to me. I’m not trying to say that dismissively or to write off their whole season or to say that they can’t get there. But they have a lot of older pieces; they don’t have overwhelming athleticism; they have a lot of guys who are there some nights, not there other nights, whether it’s a guy like Rondo or JaVale McGee. 

“So to me, the Lakers are kind of this two-man team versus the world where LeBron James and Anthony Davis are just going to try to play hero every night and carry these guys through,” Golliver continued. “I’m not sure that formula works in the NBA. I think it’s about who’s got the best five-man group, who’s got the deepest bench and who’s got the most overall collection of talent – and when I look at the Clippers, they check all those boxes.”

Indeed, the Clippers have start power, shooters, playmakers, versatile defenders, a championship coach in Doc Rivers, and an owner in Steve Ballmer who will do – and spend – anything to win.

“So to me, I think the Clippers deserve to enter this season as the favorites to win the title,” Golliver said. “Now will they get there? That’s a different story. It’s obviously a gauntlet in the Western Conference, but to me, the Clippers are a tier-1 contender and the Lakers are more like a tier-2 contender.”

Click below to listen to Golliver’s interview in its entirety.