The NBA season will resume in Orlando in just 35 days. It was announced that Avery Bradley would not join the Orlando team due to concerns over his son’s health. Bradley is an essential piece for the Lakers’ success, but family comes first.
Before the season was suspended, the Lakers signed Dion Waiters. If Waiters is focused going into the playoffs, he could play a vital role for the team. Alex Caruso has shown consistency on both ends of the court as well. The Lakers will need Waiters to be a scoring threat and a lock-down defender. He’s proven that he can do both.
When Waiters was with Miami, they played against the Clippers, and Waiters was guarding Lou Williams. He blocked Lou’s shot twice, ran down to the other side of the court and knocked down a three. If Waiters plays in that fashion, they will have a successful season in Orlando.
The Lakers’ primary lineup will likely be LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, Danny Green, and Dion Waiters or Alex Caruso. Kyle Kuzma could also be in that lineup if Danny Green’s shot isn’t falling, or if Kuzma’s defense improved during the hiatus.
Talen Horton-Tucker and Devontae Cacok are two rookies waiting for an opportunity to shine in Orlando. They could fill in on nights where Caruso and Waiters are struggling, or Dwight and JaVale McGee are fatigued, and they would not waste any opportunity given to them during the playoffs.
The player that must step up is Dion Waiters because his offensive package is better than Caruso’s. Caruso may be a better defender, but Waiters can still lock-down players while scoring double-digit points per game. If LeBron or Davis get double-teamed, Waiters could have big scoring nights. If teams do decide to double team LeBron or Davis, then Danny Green and Kyle Kuzma must be ready to knock down the open looks they get.
There have been talks about the Lakers signing J.R. Smith if they do sign Smith, and run with LeBron, Green, Smith, Davis, and Dwight, that would be a tall and lengthy lineup, it would also be a matchup nightmare for opposing teams if Green and Smith knock down shots.