Yahoo Sports senior NBA insider Chris Haynes and senior NBA writer Vincent Goodwill look at the crosstown rivals reacted to the purple and gold’s title, and how both teams will approach the upcoming season.
VINCENT GOODWILL: Welcome to Yahoo! Sports NBA season preview coverage. I'm Vincent Goodwill Sr, NBA writer, here along with Chris Haynes, Yahoo! Sports insider. Chris, the LA Lakers, the champions out of the bubble. With some of their off-season moves, do you think they got even better from last season?
CHRIS HAYNES: Well, definitely on paper they have. And the reason I say that is because-- you know, there is a couple of guys that play, had huge contributions for them in the postseason. You know, Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard, those two guys were [INAUDIBLE] pieces to securing that championship.
With that being said, if you're going off the paper, if you're going off challenge, if you're going off the production that was particularly off the last season, Montrezl Harrell, six man of the year. I mean, it seems like that will be an upgrade over Dwight Howard.
And then Dennis Schroder, who was also a six man finalist and who would start on most teams in the NBA. You know, it seemed like that would be an upgrade over Rajon Rondo. But those two guys haven't played in this type of basketball, with-- when you're talking about the Lakers and supposedly going on to play later down the road for a championship.
And then Marc Gasol, seemed like whatever he can provide, it seems like he's going to be a plus. So yeah, I would say on paper, yes. But, you know, you really don't know until you get down in the postseason when the games really matters and when you got guys like Schroder a Montrezl who haven't played that deep, to see what they'll do from now on. But obviously, they were one of the teams that hit a home run in the off season.
VINCENT GOODWILL: I mean, Chris, the biggest thing for me is that, nobody in the West really made that blockbuster move to get themselves to the Lakers clash. Like, if you look at the Clippers, I felt like they needed a point guard. They needed a Rondo, they needed a Chris Paul, even though Chris Paul makes the salary that he makes. I didn't feel like they showed up that position that kind of separates themselves.
Especially in that seven game series against the Nuggets, where they clearly needed somebody to take control as the series was slipping away. With the Lakers, to me it's just a second year of Anthony Davis and LeBron. Them being more comfortable with each other, Anthony Davis getting that championship sort of affirmation. My question to you, Chris, though is, do you think they're slow walking this through regular season, through the 72 games, just to build it up for the playoffs? Or do you think they want to get some level of status through this regular season?
CHRIS HAYNES: You know what? That's a good question. Being that this is going to be somewhat of a condensed season and the Lakers coming off but not much of an off season, I can see them trying to play the slow out game and just LeBron resting here. We just saw that there are some new rules and protocols in place about resting. But they're deep enough right now where I feel like they can kind of get by.
where LeBron James, even if he is playing, that he won't have to do as much, as carry so much of a load to try to just get them to that postseason time. You know, look, what the Lakers are doing right now, man, they made sure. Like, they weren't-- they weren't going to settle. So pertaining to the Clippers, their off-season wasn't that good, just being honest.
They resigned Reggie Jackson. Serge Ibaka was their biggest pick up. [INAUDIBLE], they really didn't have an off season. But let me tell you something, next to your guy, back where you at, base at right now, I fully expect the LA Clippers, when it starts getting near the trade deadline, I really expect them to go and pursue Derrick Rose over there. Detroit Piston who has one year left on his deal. So that's the one guy that I know for sure that the Clippers will have on their radar when it's time.
VINCENT GOODWILL: But the question is, like everybody else, you know, do you feel confident enough feeling like one move will get you to the Lakers level around there. Clearly, the Lakers have done their work in the off season and it's going to be incumbent on other teams, Chris, to figure out where they fit in as far as some of these end season moves. And for the rest of your NBA preseason coverage, stick around right here at Yahoo! Sports.