Why the Los Angeles Lakers Will Not Win the 2020 NBA Championship Without Avery Bradley

Orel Dizon
5 Min Read

In a little more than a month, the league is set to return. This means the Los Angeles Lakers are about to resume their quest for the 2020 NBA title.

However, the road to the championship has become much more difficult for the team as Avery Bradley signified his decision to sit out the season restart.

The shooting guard stated that his reason for opting out was to avoid putting his family’s health at risk. It has also been widely covered that Bradley is one of the leading voices among players who have been questioning the league’s plan to resume the season.

No one should fault Bradley for his choice. After all, this is an unprecedented time for NBA players. Not only is there a battle against the coronavirus pandemic, the fight for social justice is also ongoing.

Still, losing the 10-year pro deals a huge blow to the franchise’s championship chances.

Defensive Downgrade


Defense is where the University of Texas at Austin product has made a name for himself in the NBA. Past and present teammates alike have raved about his defense.

This season, the NBA veteran has been the impact player the organization expected him to be when he signed as a free agent last offseason. His defensive rating of 104.0 ranks second among the team’s regular starters, trailing only LeBron James.

Bradley’s ability to cover opposing point guards has allowed the Lakers to start games with James as the primary playmaker.

Without the two-time All-Defensive team selection, the Lakers’ defense will definitely take a hit. The team will have few options on who it could assign to guard the likes of Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Lou Williams, to name a few.

Depth Concerns

Several concerns have been raised about the NBA’s proposed bubble. These include the possibility of injuries after months without competitive play and the increased likelihood of players contracting the coronavirus in the bubble environment.

Because Bradley has already opted to not play, the Lakers cannot afford to lose any more rotation players. As it is, the team will already find it hard to replace his production.

The Lakers have several players who can take up the minutes Bradley would have played. But none of them have the same skill set.

The 6-foot-3 guard is not just a defensive threat, he is also one of the Lakers’ better floor spacers. His 1.3 3-pointers per game this season ranks fourth on the team. Among qualified players, he is also fourth (36.4 percent) in 3-point percentage.

Disrupted Chemistry

Before the season came to a stop, things were clicking for the Lakers. They had won 13 of their last 16 games en route to a Western Conference-leading 49-14 record.

Two of those wins came against championship contenders Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers. Bradley had one of his best performances this season versus his former team, the Clippers. After the game, he declared that the Lakers “were just a much better team.”

Instead of the Lakers picking up where they left off when the season resumes, they will have to deal with the loss of Bradley.

The team was able to thrive early in the season when the 29-year-old went down with a hairline fracture injury. However, circumstances are entirely different now.

The Lakers have little time and opportunity to determine what rotations would work. More importantly, it remains to be seen if Bradley’s decision will have an adverse effect on team morale.

Having two of the best players in the world does not automatically result in a title — James of all people would know that. For the Lakers to raise their 17th championship banner in the rafters, they will need valuable contributions from role players like Bradley.

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Orel is excited about the prospect of “Showtime Lakers” making a comeback, thanks to the presence of the King and the arrival of the Brow.