Since the NBA bubble opened in Orlando, the Los Angeles Lakers have been an interesting team to watch. Before the league shut down operations, the Lakers looked like the best team in basketball. , Lebron James and Anthony Davis, were playing great, and the role players around them were playing well, too. The league proceeded to shut down due to COVID-19. Since then the Lakers have looked like a different team. In the eight seeding games before the playoffs began, the Lakers went 3-5, which was not good compared to their 49-14 record before the bubble. Although James and Davis played well in the restart, the supporting cast was not. In the eight seeding games, the Lakers ranked 19th in field-goal percentage, last in 3-point percentage, and last in points per game. Prior to the bubble, the Lakers were 7th in field-goal percentage, and also led the league in points per game. Should Laker fans be concerned?
Before the players reported to the bubble in Orlando, Florida, Avery Bradley decided to opt-out of playing due to family concerns. Resulting from this, the Lakers signed J.R. Smith, a player who played with James in Cleveland before his time in Los Angeles. The Lakers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers in five games to advance to the second round. This should be a good sign, as some even predicted that the Trail Blazers would beat the Lakers. In this first-round series, both stars played well, along with the rest of the supporting cast began to shoot the ball better as well. Even if the other Laker players don’t perform in the next series, they will still be in championship contention. This possibility is purely based on the duo of James and AD.
On the other hand, if the Lakers even want to make it out of the West, it cannot just be their two stars. I say this because they could play the Los Angeles Clippers, who arguably have the best player in basketball right now, and a co-star to go along with him. Also, the Clippers have a top-five bench in the NBA today, which is something the Lakers do not. With that being said, this struggling Lakers team would most likely have to play the Clippers, who just eliminated the Dallas Mavericks. If both these teams make it to the Western Conference Finals, it would set up a very intriguing series. So yes, the Lakers could definitely win the NBA Finals, but it all relies on their role players.