History Shows Lakers' Plan to Crack Warriors' Code May Work with Kawhi

Since the Warriors dynasty emerged there have been only three teams to go toe-to-toe with them. One team finished the job and the other two choked it away: 2016 Cavaliers, 2016 Thunder, 2018 Rockets.

The way the three aforementioned teams were able to take the Warriors to seven games did check several of the boxes Pelinka mentioned. But the most important one is what the Lakers will need to do before LeBron loses to his battle to Father Time: add another superstar. If that is done with Pelinka’s ideology kept in place, the Lakers may be on to something the history books are selling.

Pelinka bringing up the importance of not trying to beat Golden State at their own game is fair. Houston tried to do unsuccessfully late in the 2018 Western Conference finals.
“Defense and toughness,” do look to be contributing factors to what made those three teams successful against the Warriors. They each carried several players that resembled rough riders in Steven Adams, Serge Ibaka, Matthew Dellavedova, Iman Shumpert, Clint Capela, Trevor Ariza, and Gerald Green. If they can roam around LeBron and Leonard (or Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson) in the next two years, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope certainly fit that type.

Depth also stands out even if the three teams that challenged the Warriors were not the deepest in the league. Golden State’s depth was an issue in all three series and should be for years to come.

The Lakers look and sound like they are on the right track of building a team that fits the mold to give the Warriors issues. Unfortunately, history screams out that they must add another superstar to ensure it is not a waste. As currently constructed, without a peanut butter to LeBron’s jelly, they might not make it out of the first round. If they trade for Kawhi Leonard this season or sign him next summer, that team is won’t be far off the 2016 Cavaliers, or 2016 Thunder, or 2018 Rockets.
Not to mention, their young core …