For the first time in a decade, the Lakers are once more NBA champions. James contributed immensely to this feat, scoring 28 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists overall, beating Miami Heat 106-93 on Sunday night. He is the most valuable player for the finals, scoring an average of 29.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 8.5 assists throughout the series. Anthony Davis was also something of a star player with 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers. These individual performances are a huge reason why the Lakers are already being backed to retain the title by those betting online.
How does the Lakers More Recent Title Compare to the Past?
- The Minneapolis Years (1948 – 1954). It was very much George Mikan leading the way in these early days who managed to win 5 titles over 6 seasons. Yet in the regular season, he didn’t manage to shoot over 40% from the field, not averaging over 86 points. The teams of 1949 and 1950 were probably best, achieving 51-17 during the regular season and 10-2 in playoffs.
- 1987 -1988. This team won 62 games during the regular season but needed another 7 games in 3 series after the opening round spurs sweep. The leading players were James Worthy (21.1), Magic Johnson (19.9), and Byron Scott (19.6). The playoff record was 15.9, with a 2.7 playoff net rating. They would have been more likely to perform better if it wasn’t for Isaiah Thomas’s ankle injury in the game six finals.
- 1990-2000. With scores of 30.7, 21.1, and 12.4 from players Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and Glen Rice respectfully, these were the stars of the show during playoffs. Overall, the team achieved a 15-8 playoff record and a 2.6 playoff net rating. Overall, the team scored 13th out of 16 teams in the postseason.
- 2009 – 2010. Kobe Bryant, Paul Gasol, and Metta World Peace were the top performers with strong scores of 29.2, 19.6, and 11.2, respectively. The playoff rating was 16-7, with a net rating of 4.2. Despite getting behind 3-2 in the series, the excellent play from Gasol and World Peace resulted in a seven-game win.
- 2001 – 2002. Yet again, Kobe Bryant is one of the top scorers with 26.6 points, alongside Shaquille O’Neal, scoring 28.5 points, and Derek Fisher with 10.2 points. Playoff record this time around was 15-4 with a playoff net rating of 4.1. The 40 free throw attempts in game 6 possibly had a lot to do with it, plus Kobe and Shaq’s unforgettable performance.
- 1979 – 1980. Scoring 31.9 points, Kareen Abdul-Jabbar was the best in this game. Not forgetting the incredible performance by Jamaal Wilkes, scoring 20.3 points, closely followed by the 18.3 points scored by Magic Johnson. Magic’s performance was particularly notable, with 10.5 rebounds and 9.4 assists. As well as the 13.6 rebounds and 4.6 blocks gained from Kareem.
- 2008 -2009. Yet again, Kobe Bryant is the key winner with 30.2 points, followed by 18.3 points from Pau Gasol. These strong scores are definite reasons for the strong overall player record of 16-7 and playoff net rating of 7.9, dominating the postseason. In this game, the defense was incredibly strong, and interestingly, the first game Bryant won without Shaq.
- 2019 – 2020. Anthony Davis was the leading playoff scorer with 27.7 points. Lebron James also made an impressive performance with 27.6 points. Despite being a dominant team overall, the net rating fell due to the overall lack of depth, not to mention the two blowouts suffered in the finals. And overall, most of the players simply don’t compare to others.
- 1981 – 1982. In these seasons, top performing players tended not to go beyond around 20 points, making a somewhat disappointing performance. This also explains the 12-2 playoff record and a net rating of just 5.9. Still, they performed better than in the playoffs, not losing any games until the finals. In particular, Magic put in an outstanding performance in the MVP finals, becoming the 5th leading scorer and achieving a 6 game win against Julius Erving’s in the 76ers.
- 1971 – 1972. Once more, not really star performances from the likes of Gail Goodrich and Jerry West with scores in the low 20’s. This goes to explain the playoff record of 12-3 and the playoff point differential of 3.2. Nevertheless, this was their 33rd game-winning streak and 3rd highest regular-season winning percentage in all of NBA history.
- 1984 – 1985. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar once again puts in the effort to achieve 21.9 points alongside a similar score for James Worthy. With a playoff record of 15-4 and a net rating of 9.4, this was one of the best teams in history. 7 Players averaged double figures during playoffs with a particularly strong performance from Johnson. Not to mention the 9 rebounds and 5.2 assists by Abdul-Jabbar.
- 1986 – 1987. James Worthy takes the top spot, scoring 23.6 points in total, followed by 21.8 points by Magic Johnson and 19.2 points by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, proving that he’s still able to perform as a slightly older player. Contrastingly for younger players, it’s clear to see they are developing well, like Byron Scott and A.C. Green. Johnson also deserves special mention, achieving one of the most memorable shots in Laker’s history and contributing to the 107-106 win in game 4.
- 2000 – 2001. With a total score of 30.4, Shaquille O’Neal once more demonstrates outstanding play with equally impressive play from Kobe Bryant, scoring 29.4. The 2000 and 2001 Lakers are considered one of the most dominant teams in the franchise history.
Past vs. Present. Which was the Laker’s Best Year?
For the Lakers, their most recent 106-93 win does seem at first glance reasonable. However, when looking into the highest winning games of all time, it leaves a lot to be desired. 1984-1985 was supposedly their best season, and it’s clear to see why with some of the highest ever scores achieved. These include the 148-119 win against the Nuggets and a similar success against the Pistons in 1985. Over the years, there have been some outstanding performances from individual players. However, if teams can’t pull together or recruit only the best players, this accounts for very little.