On November 30, 2021, the Los Angeles Lakers faced off against the New Orleans Pelicans in what could have been a potential nightmare scenario for the Lakers. The reason being, the Pelicans held the first overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft and had the opportunity to draft Victor Wembanyama, a 7’2″ French basketball player who is widely regarded as a generational talent.
The Lakers, along with many other NBA teams, had their sights set on drafting Wembanyama and adding him to their roster for years to come. However, with the Pelicans holding the top pick, it was a very real possibility that Wembanyama could end up playing for one of the Lakers’ rivals.
But the Lakers put that nightmare scenario to bed with a 108-89 victory over the Pelicans. The win not only moved the Lakers up in the Western Conference standings but also prevented the Pelicans from gaining much-needed ground in their own conference.
More importantly, it showed the basketball world that the Lakers are still a formidable team despite their recent struggles. LeBron James led the way with 26 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, while Anthony Davis added 19 points and 10 rebounds. Russell Westbrook also had a solid game, finishing with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.
With this victory, the Lakers sent a message to the Pelicans, and the rest of the league, that they are still a force to be reckoned with. They also showed that they are capable of winning games without having to rely solely on their superstar duo of James and Davis. If they continue to play like they did against the Pelicans, they could make a strong push towards the playoffs.
As for Wembanyama, he is still a long way from being drafted, and it’s impossible to predict which team will ultimately end up with the first overall pick. The Lakers, however, can take comfort in the fact that they control their own destiny and don’t have to rely on luck or a lottery to secure the young star’s services.
In conclusion, the Lakers proved that they are still a team to be feared in the NBA, and they put the nightmare scenario of Wembanyama potentially ending up on the Pelicans to bed. Whether they ultimately draft him or not, the Lakers have shown that they have the talent, depth, and experience to compete at the highest level, and that’s what really matters.