With the NBA 2020-2021 season start date announced, excitement has began to grow, as the upcoming NBA season could possibly be one of the better ones yet. We see are seeing the return of many all time greats, such as Kevin Durant and Steph Curry as they missed last year due to injuries. The return of those two superstars will create major issues for the Lakers on their road to back to back NBA titles.
So, here are the three main Teams which pose the biggest threat to King James and the LA Lakers.
The Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets have been a playoff team for the past two years and while they have had little playoff success, they have proven how their deep core can win games for them.
The depth of the Nets will compliment the two All Stars, which they added in 2019, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Kyrie Irving was LeBron's sidekick in Cleveland, and was a huge contributor to the NBA Title they won. Kyrie is an elite player in today's NBA, and he will be playing alongside one of the best players of all time, Kevin Durant.
Kevin Durant has been the 2nd best player in the league, behind LeBron, for almost a decade, and he is arguably the best scorer the game has seen. However now he must prove he can still play at the level we are accustomed to seeing him play at. KD is returning from an achilles injury, an injury which has historically put players on the shelf. However, I do not foresee KD being majorly affected by the injury because his game has always been based on being able to score anywhere on the court, he doesn't need his speed to score, he is still a 7-footer, who can shoot.
With KD, the Nets are the team to watch in the Eastern Conference. And if they face the Lakers in the Finals, KD will pose a threat for LeBron, as no one player has had success guarding Durant.
But there is a team not only in the same conference, but the same state as the Lakers which will pose a major threat.
Golden State Warriors
Although the Warriors went 15-50 in the 2019-2020 season, we should expect the opposite from them in the upcoming season.
The Golden State Warriors have their two stars returning from injury, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. The two combine to make the best backcourt in NBA history. The two have teamed up, and won three NBA Titles together, and appeared in five. With two of the best shooters ever returning to a Warriors team which has the second overall pick in the 2020 Draft, it seems as if we will see the Warriors we are used to seeing back at full strength.
Not to mention, Draymond Green is the glue that holds the team together. The three time all-star is vital to the Warriors success, as his game is all around great. He facilitates the court while he is out there, and while he is not, he is a leader to the team from off the court.
The Original Warriors Three will be back in action in the 2020-2021 season, and it will be extremely entertaining to watch the Lakers and the Warriors square off throughout the season. Hopefully we are fortunate enough to see them face off in the playoffs as well, as LeBron will once again have to face the Warriors - but this time he will have AD to back him up.
While the Warriors pose a major threat to the Lakers, in the next season, there is another team in the West which can take down LA.
The Denver Nuggets were defeated in a five game series against the Lakers in these past playoffs. However, in the playoffs last season, we saw the coming out party of Jamal Murray, who had a historic playoff run.
Murray is going to be an all-star in the upcoming season, and he could be the superstar the Nuggets need to get them over the top. With the emergence of Jamal Murray, we must not forget Nikola Jokic, who was still a top ten player in the past season.
Jokic is the perfect player to complement Murray as he becomes a star in the NBA, due to the fact that Jokic is a substantially big man. Jokic's skill as a passer, and his ability to score are the two main features which contribute to his success as a player. Both Jokic and Murray could possibly represent the Nuggets in the all-star game next season. But their role players, and their depth is what will pose a threat to not only the Lakers, but the entire league.
Jerami Grant, Paul Millsap, and Gary Harris are amongst the depth which the Nuggets employed last season, and most likely next season as well. Now that the Nuggets have depth, and two stars, they will most definitely be a contender next season. Another factor to consider is the home court advantage that the Nuggets have.
The Nuggets have had substantial success at home compared to other teams, as last year they had the third best home court record in the league, and the year prior they had the best record with 34 wins and 7 losses.
The Nuggets could pose a huge problem for the entire NBA this season.