The 2021 season ended up being a disappointing season for the Los Angeles Lakers after bowing out in the first round.
Even though it wasn’t the back-to-back titles that they were aiming for, the Lakers still had some impressive performances from their players throughout the season. Let’s take a look at some of the possible individual awards for the Laker players this season.
Most Improved Player: Talen Horton-Tucker
In his second season in the NBA, Talen Horton-Tucker’s minutes and production has increased significantly. After his impressive showing in the 2020 bubble, he gained coach Vogel’s trust and played a key role off the bench for the Lakers. In a little over 20 minutes this season, he averaged 9.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.0 steals per game. He showed his talent even at the tender age of 20, and he will be a player to watch for the 2022 season as he is expected to continue improving.
Sixth Man of the Year: Montrezl Harrell
After winning the 2020 Sixth Man of the Year Award for the Clippers, Montrezl Harrell came off the bench for the Lakers and was the best bench scorer for the Purple and Gold. Even if his number went down from the previous season, he still had a productive year averaging 13.5 points and 6.2 rebounds. His energy and hustle was always something the Lakers needed every game and he will continue to be a key player for the Lakers.
Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Davis
He may have been injured in the latter part of the season, but when he was on the floor, he was by far the best defender for the Lakers. When he wanted to, he could lock down the best forwards and centers in the league. His ability to move his feet and protect the rim are one of the reasons he’s one of the best players in the league. Even if he did not produce as much as he was expected to, his defensive ability is something that was there night in and night out as he led the team in steals, blocks, and second in rebounds next to late addition Andre Drummond.
Most Valuable Player: LeBron James
No explanation needed. LeBron James, even at the age of 36, was the best player of the team, and is still the one of the most feared players in the league. His injury derailed him later in the season, but if he didn’t get injured, he was yet again in the argument to be a league MVP candidate. He averaged 25+ points per game for his 17th straight season as he ended with averages of 25.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.8 assists. LeBron James is not gonna be here forever, so let’s appreciate his greatness while we can.
The Lakers certainly have a lot of talent in the roster, and if they are healthy, they are still considered one of the top contenders. Next season would certainly be exciting if these players can continue playing at a very high level. Let’s all hope the Lakers can stay healthy and put things together for another solid title run.
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