Are the Los Angeles Lakers the best team in the NBA? That’s yet to be determined. After the first five months of the season, the Lakers certainly look like one of the best teams in the NBA, squarely in the league’s upper tier along with the Milwaukee Bucks and crosstown Clippers.
The Lakers can already call themselves champs in one regard, however. They are, without question, the NBA’s greatest haters. This team doesn’t just win. It rubs their greatness in your face every second along the way.
The Lakers’ 120-107 victory over a depleted Philadelphia 76ers team on Tuesday night was a premium example. Without Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in the lineup, the Lakers weren’t competing against the Sixers as much as they were toying with them. They didn’t just want to win, they wanted to win with style.
Take this three-pointer from LeBron James, for example:
The Lakers already had a big lead at the start of the second half when LeBron pulled up from 36 feet to launch this three-pointer. There was a time not so long ago that no player would even consider taking this shot. Yes, we’re now in the days of the Logo Three as a regular part of a superstar’s repertoire. But this shot felt particularly disrespectful. There were 19 seconds left on the shot clock!
On the season, James has been about a league-average shooter, hitting threes at a 35-percent clip. Yet he didn’t even look at one of his teammates here. He just launched.
Call it GOAT privilege, but LeBron didn’t second guess himself on this attempt and knew it was straight cash from the moment it left his hands.
Anthony Davis was also having himself a ball. When he cooked Al Horford in the third quarter, Davis was greeted by LeBron waving off the smell of that dirty, stinky crossover.
Anthony Davis crosses Al Horford and Bron's reaction pic.twitter.com/p0aIKTIqiI— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) March 4, 2020
Davis busted out his ball-handling and Euro-step skills, too, and the Lakers mimicked AD stepping through the Sixers defense in celebration.
AD out here performing magic tricks with his handles— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 4, 2020
( : @SpectrumSN ) pic.twitter.com/A5hn9CxRbn
The Lakers have been doing this for most of the season.
Remember when they sold this Alex Caruso dunk from January?
When AC goes up, they all go up— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 6, 2020
( : @SpectrumSN) pic.twitter.com/wPsb6glFUd
Maybe the Lakers will meet a tough matchup to humble them in the playoffs, but until then, they’re going laughing at the teams they roll by.