NBA season preview: 5 big questions for the Los Angeles Lakers

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Frank Vogel, Los Angeles Lakers

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 08: Head coach Frank Vogel of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on October 08, 2021 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The Lakers enter the 2020-21 season as NBA title favorites, but Los Angeles must answer these five questions if they want to win another championship. 

Los Angeles shook up their roster with a big trade to land Russell Westbrook this offseason but the team’s title hopes still lie squarely on the broad collective shoulders of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The challenge for Frank Vogel and his coaching staff continues to be identifying the right group to fit around their pair of All-NBA players.

Westbrook wasn’t the only big-name acquisition of the offseason. Signing Carmelo Anthony in free agency also raised some eyebrows in Tinsel Town. Vogel’s handling of the future Hall-of-Famer will be a delicate balancing act all season long for the Los Angeles Lakers.

5. What will Carmelo Anthony give this team?

Anthony will certainly want to close games for this group, but his defensive limitations may ultimately cost him that opportunity. He was never a standout at that end of the floor and age-related regression has made him even weaker on the defensive end of the floor in recent seasons.

Fortunately for Anthony, many of his defensive deficiencies can be covered up by playing next to James and Davis. That gives him a shot to close games if he can really stretch the floor with his perimeter shooting ability.

It may be jarring to see Anthony limited to being a standstill shooter in the corner for some Lakers fans, but that’s his only path towards playing in crunch time for this team.

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