The Los Angeles Lakers entered this season as the biggest contenders for taking the NBA title. The arrival of Anthony Davis during the offseason, triggered the euphoria among the fans of the purple and gold, and ever since that wave of positive vibrations is carrying Frank Vogel’s side.
Davis is arguably one of the best centres in the recent two decades. Him pairing up with Lebron is something every coach dreams about. Two-on-two, pick-and-rolls, creating space for other teammates, these two guys can do it all, and that immediately reflected upon the Lakers’ results.
Right now, they occupy the No.1 place in the West, with a nice edge over the Denver Nuggets, LA Clippers and Utah Jazz who are chasing them.
According to the Bet365 review, the odds on the LAL to win the Western Conference title are 9/5 the same as the Clippers’. The Rockets, although experiencing some turbulences along the way, are third on the list with 13/2, while Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets sit behind with 9/1.
It will no doubt be a pleasure to watch the playoffs of the West because each round would bring a spectacle. The competition here is very strong, and even the teams who are not contenders for the ring can do a lot of damage. Don’t forget, for example, the Dallas Mavericks who are led by one of the greatest talents of the game, Luka Doncic. They can explode during the postseason and create a sensation.
But to get back to the Lakers. Everything was working out well for one of the biggest sports franchises in the world, until the recent tragedy which included Kobe Bryant and his daughter, as well as all the other innocent victims of that accident.
Black Mamba died, leaving a blank which won’t be easy to repair. Even though he retired, and wasn’t helping the Lakers on the court, his presence around the franchise was something which gave a sort of a boost to all the people in the organization.
Kobe was able to ignite the players on the court with one move on the sidelines. Whether was that with applause, or some words of advice, or just by signalling to someone on the court to calm down, he was a psychological safehouse for the Lakers if we can describe it like that. He will be missed badly.
That is why the Lakers have the motivation to give their best this season, and to try to win the title for Black Mamba. LeBron already said that a couple of times, particularly because Kobe believed in LBJ earlier.King James will be prepared for these playoffs better than ever, be sure about that.
The bookmakers set them as the second overall favourite to take the ring. The Milwaukee Bucks with 5/2 are the No.1, Lakers are 31/10, and the Clippers are third with 16/5. Then come the Rockets, 13/1, the Denver Nuggets 15/1, and the Utah Jazzers and the Philadelphia 76ers with 16/1.
It won’t be easy as we said, but the prospects are solid.
The only issue for Frank Vogel currently, is the fact that apart from James and Davis, he doesn’t have a third player capable of constantly dropping 15+ points per night. The second unit of the team is without one prolific scorer who is able to deliver points when James and AD aren’t in a position to do that.
Now, their biggest rivals have that. Clippers with Lou Williams, and Harrell, could be very dangerous for the local rivals, and that is something many experts point out.
However, on the other side, there isn’t a team in the NBA with two MVP contenders. Among the Lakers, we have both James whose odds to win the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award are at 6/1, and Davis 14/1. Of course, the top contender is Giannis with 1/3 at the moment, and Luka Doncic follows him with 9/2. Harden is also present in the story with 9/1.
The All-Star break is ahead of us, and traditionally, after it ends, the real battles across the NBA begin. There is no more time for calculations, and all the teams begin their preparations for the playoffs.
The Lakers have a solid schedule after the break, visiting the Warriors, Grizzlies and the Pelicans, before coming back to LA for a six-game homestand.