The addition of LeBron James has Lakers thinking big, albeit in small balls. The team is reportedly "keen" to take a page from Warriors with its own "Death Lineup", one with the former Cavaliers star in the middle, while the Lakers team, President Magic Johnson, is at least as happy to take on Golden State directly , preferably with the NBA final at stake.
"I'm a competitor, so I'm not afraid of the Golden State," Johnson said on Wednesday, "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and added: "I'm not worried about the Golden State.
" They do not care the night. "
Asked if the Lakers, who were" right now ", could beat Warriors, especially after adding to the All Star Center DeMarcus Cousins, Johnson replied," Johnson I think we will look forward to that challenge.
"Everyone expects the Golden State to win again, but I would love to have the challenge of playing them in the Western Conference finale, if we can get to that position" still. "… I know we have a really solid team, a good team, a competitive team and a tough team. And we now have guys who are winners."
Johnson described James as someone who "gives a championship to our team "and he also quoted two other latest free agent acquisitions, Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee, as having been to the NBA title-winning squads. None of them, but neither Lance Stephenson, another veteran added after James announced he was going to Los Angeles, was among the players the Lakers plan to use in his version of the so-called Death Lineup.
Bleacher Report Eric Pincus, James would be surrounded by Lakers four most promising young players. "We may not see this on the first day, but the coaching staff are keen to see our version of [Warriors’] Death Set with Lonzo [Ball] Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, [Kyle] Kuzma and LeBron," a nominee law executive told Pincus.
The only catch there is that James would have to play the center, something he rarely did, and a role that, as noted by Pincus, could imply a certain taxing defensive responsibility. James is bigger and more sporty than Draymond Green, which plays the center in Warrior's version – some have dubs "Hamptons Five" after the Golden State has replaced Death Lineup member Harrison Barnes with Kevin Durant – but Green has almost none of James  Then the warriors have also chosen to judiciously use their Death Lineup, which also includes Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala in a quintet that can effectively change the defense while raining over-matched enemies. The line tends to hit the floor towards the end of the halves, either to give the Golden State a half-time ball or to let it unlock wins.
The Lakers could try to make a similar setting, which gave McGee, took over after winning successive championships with Warriors, getting the bulk of the protocol in the middle. However, the gambit is not without the risks, as a skeptical execution with another law told Pincus.
"James has been constantly striving for defense in recent years. Now he will shut down games like Lakers 5?" Asked the CEO. "Draymond is why it works for the war arena."
Johnson is only pleased that his team has the opportunity to experiment with some sort of lineup with James, especially after claiming he would be fired if he did not attract a superstar to the Lakers either in the summer or 2019. Questioned by Kimmel if at the time of these comments he had "a good idea" that he would get LeBron Johnson, saying, "I had trust in myself, the brand Laker, the young players we had and Luke Walton as a coach. "
Johnson said that he and General Manager Rob Pelinka "had done our homework" and "really thought we had a good plan to present to LeBron." He said he had watched "the whole movie" by James in both later spelling with Cavs and Heat, Johnson claimed that he had "got a feel of [James’s] games and what he wanted what he was looking for."
When the Lakers signed Rondo, Stephenson and McGee, who had all had tension with James in the past, as opponent, and none of them brought the kind of outer shooter considered to be most useful for the four-hour NBA MVP, some wondering if the team had actually ran these moves over their newest franchise icon. After Johnson's late appearance, it is also fair to wonder how much James has been looking for a chance to play long minutes in the middle, not to mention how much this view will hold the warrior night.
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