There is still a lot of basketball to be played this season and a lot that can happen before we get to the playoffs. Teams who are going well right now may falter in the second half, while others may emerge and come good as we get deep into the season. When thinking about the future and the postseason, all we can do now is look at how teams have played to this point and base our opinions on that. With that in mind, one of the biggest questions waiting to be answered is whether the LA Lakers can repeat as champions this season. Let’s take a moment to get into that and talk about the reasons they might do so, as well as the teams that might stop them so you can start planning your bets and place them against their NBA Championship odds.
Lakers still favorites to win Championship: can they pull it off?
How the Lakers Repeat
In LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the LA Lakers have one of the best one-two punches in the league. James is getting up there in age now, but he is also showing zero sign of slowing down or losing his desire to win championships. Anthony Davis takes a good deal of the pressure off of James, so it is going to be interesting to see how things go now that Davis is out with an injury until after the All-Star Break.
Besides their top two guys, you would have to say that the Lakers bench is a little deeper than it was last season. When injuries come, as they always do, it’s good to know that you have players that can step in and keep things rolling. Dennis Schroder is one of the additions that is better than it looks, as he is an underrated player that adds a lot to any team that he plays on.
Counterbalancing the Lakers getting stronger is the fact that the Western Conference as a whole looks better this season. There are not going to be a lot of easy outs this postseason, which is why seeding is going to be important when the playoffs roll around. That may not be as big an issue for the Lakers if they are not able to secure home court advantage in the playoffs, as they actually have a better record away from home than they do in their own building.
If the Lakers can stay healthy the rest of the way, they certainly have a very goof shot at winning their second straight NBA Finals.
Who Are the Teams to Fear for the Lakers?
While the Western Conference is tough this season, the Lakers are still a very heathy 15-5 in conference play, which bodes well for a deep playoff run. The problem here, though, is that they have not been totally dominant against teams with winning records this season, going 8-6 versus teams above .500.
In the Western Conference, most people view the LA Clippers as the team most likely to topple the champions, but at this stage of the season, they should perhaps be more worried about the Utah Jazz, who very suddenly look like the real deal. If there is to be a dark horse in the West, it might well prove to be the Phoenix Suns.
If we are to believe that the Lakers can get out of the West, then who would be their toughest out from the Eastern Conference. At this point, you would have to say that the Brooklyn Nets look like the most dangerous.
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