Breaking Down Ramon Sessions' Impact on the Los Angeles Lakers
After the initial shock of Derek Fisher being traded away, Lakers fans have fallen in love with their new point guard, and with good reason.
Ramon Sessions looks more comfortable with each game he plays in purple and gold, but does he really make the Lakers that much better? The answer is yes, and I'll tell you why.
Since the beginning of the season, it was no secret that the Lakers were in dire need of an upgrade at the point guard position. It was time for Fisher to pass the torch.
That being said, it was clear that LA did not want to get rid of either one of their seven footers, meaning there would be no "superstar" PG joining Kobe and Co.
There were talks of Gilbert Arenas signing with the Lakers. There were reports that they were interested in Raymond Felton and Michael Beasley, but flying under the radar was Ramon Sessions, quietly having a very good year in Cleveland while playing behind Rookie of the Year candidate Kyrie Irving.
Sessions has always had the speed, talent, basketball IQ, and leadership abilities to be a starting point guard in the NBA. He has had a very interesting NBA career since entering the league in 2007; he was the first NBA player to be sent down to the D-league.
Even when Sessions did find his way back to the league, he often found himself playing off more respected guards in the league like Mo Williams and young talents like Irving.
Now, it is time for Sessions to shine and he has been doing just that. Ironically, he recorded his first triple-double against the Lakers in 2009, and now he is being asked to step into the starting role for LA and lead a championship-caliber team through the wild, wild West.
Did the Lakers make the right move by trading away Fisher for Sessions ?
We aren't too far deep into the Sessions experiment, but we are far enough in to realize just how effective and beneficial Sessions could prove to be for the Lakers.
2009 was the last time an LA Laker point guard recorded a triple double. Kobe Bryant has not once in his career played alongside an "elite" PG. He has always been the play maker.
What LA and the fans have been asking for at the point guard position is simply a guy who can create his own shot and shots for others, and that's exactly what they got.
Sessions is not a guy who will light you up for 40, but he can break his defender down, find the open man, or knock down the jumper. In reality, Sessions has been one of the most underrated players in the NBA for a while now.
Let's not forget this is a shortened season. Less practice time, less opportunity for Sessions to familiarize himself with the offensive set and defensive schemes of the Lakers.
Yet, it has looked as though he's been there the whole season. You don't see a guy come out and put up numbers like Session has been on a new team everyday, especially not from someone who was a back-up on his previous team.
He can stretch the floor with his jump shot, and you could argue that Fisher did the same thing. However, defenders must respect his drive much more due to his speed and athleticism. He's excellent in the pick and roll and at the end of the day, he makes the Lakers younger.
Sessions is a young talent LA can build around in the future. The combination of Sessions and Bynum is no Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, but it has the potential to be. There is no counting the Lakers out with the acquisition of him.
Mitch Kupchak did an amazing job of keeping his two seven-footers, getting rid of some garbage contracts, and keeping his superstar happy.
Yes, the Lakers had to give up one of the most beloved players in Lakers history. I wouldn't say he's already been forgotten, but I'm sure Fisher was the last thing on fans' minds when Sessions posted 20 and 11 on Friday. As if opposing teams didn't already have enough talent to worry about when playing the Lakers.
No longer can teams key on Kobe. No longer can teams simply double Bynum off Fisher and know they will have plenty of time to recover. No longer do we see opposing point guards penetrating as easily and getting the bigs in foul trouble. All thanks to Sessions.
His stay has been short, but his impact has been huge already. The Lakers were contenders with or without Sessions; you know, they still have that one guy, Kobe Bryant. But there is no doubt that Sessions drastically improves the Lakers roster and their chance at an NBA championship this year.
Call it the Rondo effect because Sessions will continue to improve and benefit from playing alongside great talent and look better than he probably really is. Thus far, it has looked as though Kobe is ready and willing to share some of the ball-handling and play-making duties with Sessions, which bodes very well for the Lakers.
As Sessions continues to improve and take the reins of this Lakers offense, other teams better watch out. If LA figures this one out, they could be on their way to yet another finals appearance.
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