The successful acquisition of LeBron James and Anthony Davis has turned the Los Angeles Lakers from one of the worst teams in the league into a legitimate title contender in the loaded Western Conference. In just their first year of playing together, James and Davis have managed to help the Purple and Gold return to the NBA Finals and end their years of title drought. However, though AD is likely to re-sign in the 2020 free agency, the Lakers are set to face a tougher road in their quest for their second consecutive NBA championship title, as there will be more teams who are seriously aiming to dethrone them next season.
In a recent appearance on ESPN's First Take, via YouTube, Stephen A. Smith of ESPN named the team that will serve as a huge obstacle for James and the Lakers in the 2020-21 NBA season. Smith claimed that the "biggest threat" to the Lakers isn't the Nikola Jokic-led Denver Nuggets nor the Kawhi Leonard-led Los Angeles Clippers, but the Golden State Warriors.
"For a simple reason, it doesn't need to be complicated, like some people might try to make it, they have the greatest shooting backcourt known to man," Smith said, as transcribed by Alex Didion of NBC Sports Bay Area.
"There has never been anybody, a backcourt in NBA history, that can shoot like these brothers, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson."
The Lakers may currently have DPOY runner-up Davis, but Smith doesn't think that Coach Frank Vogel could utilize him to guard Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson.
"Anthony Davis don't have no answer for Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, he can't be out there guarding those brothers," Smith added.
It's easy to understand why Smith sees the Warriors as the biggest threat to the Lakers next season. If there's a team that perfectly knows how to beat a James-led squad, it's the Warriors. Golden State faced LeBron for four consecutive seasons in the NBA finals when he was still with the Cleveland Cavaliers. During those years, the Warriors defeated him thrice.
Curry and Thompson may have both suffered grave injuries last year, but there's a growing belief around the league that the Splash Brothers will be at 100 percent health when the league starts on December 22. Aside from waiting for their core players to fully recover from their respective injuries, there is speculation that the Warriors are planning to make major upgrades to their roster this offseason. Using Andrew Wiggins' massive contract and the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft, rumors are circulating that Golden State will try to add another All-Star caliber player that would complement Curry, Thompson, and Draymond Green.