With Anthony Davis constantly injured, and talks for him to even be traded, have not helped the Lakers situation. New additions Russel Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony have had more bad times than good in the gold and purple. West-brick as he is called by fans, and Undisputed Co-host Skipp Bayless, because of his poor shooting and inevitable turnovers.
Melo has been okay in his displays offensively, one of the team’s highest-rated 3-point shooters, but the Achilles heel for the Lakers designates through almost every player; poor defending. The Los Angeles Life-care centre, I mean Lakers has one of, if not the oldest rosters in the NBA this season. Couple this with the injuries and poor decisions in-game by the “leaders” on the team, they could be out in the play-in, not even making the playoffs.
James Harden? He had a hamstring injury that kept him out of the team, before forcing a trade to Philadelphia. The Nets do have reasons to be positive though as in that trade with Philly, they received Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and Ben Simmons. Simmons since joining the Nets has had more sprains in his back (1) than minutes for his new team (0).
Brooklyn fans can celebrate being three games over .500 and a locked-in play-in spot, which could be against Toronto meaning Kyrie can’t play no matter where it is being played because of the same vaccine mandate in Canada. Even fully fit with Simmons, Irving, Durant, and the crew, this team just stinks of a 1st round exit.
The Golden State Warriors with their big 3 in Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, and Draymond Green all fit and raring to go, Memphis with a young but talented core of players led by Ja Morant, and defending MVP Nikola Jokic willing Denver to the playoffs are the main contenders in the Western Conference.
The Eastern Conference has not been this competitive since about 2011. The number 1 Miami Heat, defending champs Milwaukee, MVP leading candidate Joel Embiid with James Harden in Philadelphia, and Jayson Tatum having Boston going through the best run in the NBA since the All-Star break are the contenders in the Eastern Conference.
Genuine Contenders (making a deep playoff run)
Golden State Warriors
One and Done (first round or out in the play-in)
New Orleans Pelicans
San Antonio Spurs*
Embarrassment incoming (unexpected from predictions a year ago)
Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Clippers
One and Done
*- still not ruled out from contention