It was really big news when LeBron James moved from Cleveland to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. As many know, LeBron is one of the greatest NBA players of our generation, and turned the struggling Cavaliers team into a contender. So with that said, the expectations were very high coming into the season for Los Angeles.

The Lakers surprisingly struggled coming out of the gates, as they got off to a 2-5 start through the first two weeks of the season. It just didn’t seem like the Lakers were healthy enough to win games, as Ball and Ingram missed quite a bit of time with injuries. But when they returned, the talent level on the Lakers skyrocketed. The king was playing like an absolute beast, doing everything he could to make the team win. In fact, James has more triple doubles than Russell Westbrook this season. The Lakers chemistry is getting quite better, and LA looks like a more complete team right now. Since their disappointing start, the Lakers really turned things up, and have now won 12 of their last 16 games.

One big contributor that was very unexpected coming into the season was JaVale McGee. McGee came into the season as a veteran that could provide some good experience for the club. He’s always been an average type of centre, but this year has been very different for him. The Shaqtin’ A Fool MVP who was once known as a goofy player who was recognized for his funny bloopers is now a key force for the Lakers on both offense and defense. JaVale ha played all 23 games for Los Angeles so far, and looks quite flashy in doing so. Here are his main stats for this season: 12.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.0 APG, 62.5% FG%. While those are uncharacteristically good numbers for McGee, his defensive contributions are stellar: JaVale leads the NBA in blocks per game with 2.7 blocks a night.

JaVale, along with Ingram and the rest of the Lakers incredibly young and talented roster have been performing very well lately. And overall, the Lakers have steamrolled past their ugly start, and now are fifth place in the tight western conference. It’s exciting to see what LA can accomplish in the future, and many now believe that the Lakers are true contenders.

Do you think that the Lakers are true contenders?