LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will be heading into the 2018-19 NBA season with the goal of winning the NBA championship. However, in order to reach the NBA Finals, the Lakers will first need to conquer the deep Western Conference, which is currently ruled by the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
After winning back-to-back NBA titles, the Warriors were expected to prioritize retaining their core players this offseason. However, they still found a way to make a huge upgrade on their roster with the acquisition of All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in the recent free agency. Though Cousins could spend the most of the regular season recovering from an injury, he is expected to return 100 percent healthy when the real battle begins in the Western Conference Playoffs.
Having five NBA All-Stars on their roster, most people see the Warriors taking an easier path to winning their third consecutive NBA championship. However, in a recent interview with Brandon Robinson of Scoop B, DeMarcus Cousins believes the Lakers have a "chance" to beat the Warriors since they have the "best player in the world," LeBron James.
"They've got a chance," Cousins said. "We'll see what happens when the ball goes up."It is not a surprise why DeMarcus Cousins has that kind of respect for LeBron James. The 33-year-old small forward has been to the NBA Finals for the last eight years and has won three NBA championships. Though James is the only superstar in the purple and gold, Cousins believes the Lakers shouldn't be underestimated.
The Lakers may have failed to acquire their second superstar this summer, but they have added veterans, like JaVale McGee, Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo, and Michael Beasley, whom they believe could help them become a more more competitive team next season. Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Hart have already shown superstar potential, and they are expected to be more motivated now that LeBron James is on their team.
If there is one thing that puts the Warriors in a great advantage over the 29 other NBA teams, Cousins said, it is intellect.
"It's a team full of high IQs," Cousins said. "I believe everyone on our team has a very high IQ when it comes to the game of basketball. All of us know how to play the game of basketball. We got guys with the same characteristics that – it's like play-doh. You can mold them into whatever you want them to be."