Are the Lakers a Legitimate Championship Threat?
Apr 26, 2023; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves (15) handles the ball as Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (13) defends during the second half during game five of the 2023 NBA playoffs at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers continue to be one of the NBA’s most storied and successful franchises, thanks to a long line of legendary players and years of dominance on the court. The team’s history boasts icons like Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, and Shaquille O’Neal, to name a few.

These days, the Lakers are still considered a top-tier NBA team and are hungry for another shot at the Larry O’Brien trophy. Their current roster is headlined by the dynamic duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who bring their superstar talents to the forefront.

In addition to James and Davis, the Lakers have bolstered their lineup since their 17th championship win in 2020, adding solid role players like Austin Reaves and Dennis Schroder at the beginning of the season and Rui Hachimura and D’Angelo Russell at the trade deadline.

The Lakers’ Regular-Season Performance

The Lakers barely made the playoffs after a 108-102 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA play-in game. However, many still see them as a serious contender for postseason success, as reflected in the latest NBA Finals odds at BetUS sportsbook.

It’s fair to say that the Lakers’ season has been a rollercoaster ride, marked by inconsistency and a constantly changing roster. The team made a notable trade, sending former MVP Russell Westbrook packing in a three-team deal and bringing in other shooters and role players to complement James’ and Davis’ game.

Injury woes have also plagued the team, with James and Davis missing significant time on the court. Despite these challenges, the Lakers secured a spot in the postseason, avoiding what could have been a disastrous outcome.

Can the Lakers Win the West?

The Western Conference is stacked with talented teams, including the top-seeded Denver Nuggets, the up-and-coming Sacramento Kings, reigning NBA Champions Golden State Warriors, and formidable squads like the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers.

As the seventh seed, the Lakers are set to face off against the talented Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. The Grizzlies, led by rising stars Ja Morant and Defensive Player of the Year Jaren Jackson Jr., are a force to be reckoned with.

If the Lakers can overcome the Grizzlies, they’ll then face the winner of the matchup between their in-state rivals, the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings, with a spot in the Western Conference finals on the line.

Despite a roster loaded with talent and championship experience, concerns linger among fans and analysts regarding the Lakers’ consistency, injury history, and chemistry, particularly in crunch time.

However, with LeBron James still putting up mind-boggling numbers at age 38, there’s no denying that this Lakers team has the potential to make a run for the title. The key to success for the Lakers this season may hinge on Anthony Davis’ health, as LeBron is more than capable of carrying the team on his back in pursuit of another Western Conference crown and cementing their status as the league’s most decorated franchise.