The Los Angeles Lakers have the best record in the West at 49-14. They have a fantastic coach in Frank Vogel. They have two megastars in LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
They have everything they could possibly want. Except for Avery Bradley, who will be spending time with family rather than go to Orlando. Let’s talk about his primary replacement.
KCP Getting Golden Opportunity
Kentavius Caldwell-Pope has not exactly had an impressive career to date. He’s had some legal trouble off the floor and had to serve some time under house arrest.
He did not reach his full potential after being a high lottery selection by the Pistons. But now in his third year in LA, he has a big chance in front of him.
His first year in LA saw him starting every game, and averaging 13 points and five boards. He has gone in and out of the starting lineup for the past two years. There is only one stat to look at for his production this year, and it does not involve his career-low production.
The Lakers are 17-3 in the 20 games that Pope has started this year. KCP adds good value as a defender, as well as a three-point marksman. For all of the numbers that have dipped this year, he has still managed to shoot 39% from deep. He adds a lot to this team.
Lance Thomas Joining the Nets
When you look up at statistics, you will probably yawn when you scroll past Lance Thomas’. But when you watch him play, you see just what the combo forward brings to the table — athleticism, defensive ability, and 110% effort. He doesn’t ever give up.
He has career averages of five points and three boards a night and is inconsistent from distance. However, he has appeared in 392 games and lasted eight years in the league for a reason. He’ll add a nice defensive presence to the depleted Nets lineup.
And while his former Knicks teammate Michael Beasley has to sit the first five games (suspension), he will be playing valuable minutes at power forward behind Rodions Kurucs. Great to see that Lance is getting this chance.
Grayson Allen Coming Back for Memphis?
He was in and out of the rotation this year, and then Grayson Allen suffered a hip injury. The sneaky Duke product was proving that he can effectively shoot the three and defend well during his first year in Memphis. After initially being ruled out for the year, could he beat that diagnosis and come back?
The team will be getting to see Justise Winslow on the floor for the first time, and could get a nice surprise with Allen back. Given that Dillon Brooks led the NBA in fouls per game before the stoppage, having Grayson would be a nice security blanket.
He’s shown some poor sportsmanship in the past and was not the most popular player while he was at Duke. But, he has shown maturity in the NBA, and he can shoot the ball well. If he can get on the floor and produce, it would be a fantastic surprise for this team.
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