Why the Lakers Could Win the West This Season

My supporting evidence for this bold prediction boils down to three main factors – Playoff LeBron is a beast unlike any in the league right now, the Lakers will be playing with a very different set of expectations this season, and the personnel they have around LeBron put them in perfect position to shock the world.

Realistically, if the Lakers get homecourt in the first round of the playoffs, this season will be deemed a success. Even making the playoffs will be a positive step for a group of young players who have never been there. The West is, as usual, loaded with talent.

The Warriors and Rockets are locks for the playoffs. Utah and Oklahoma City are probably locks. That leaves room for only four teams out of the Lakers, Pelicans, Blazers, Nuggets, Spurs, Grizzlies, and Timberwolves. (I think it will be the first four listed there, but a lot can happen between now and April.)

Ideally, the Lakers should aim to win at least one playoff series. A loss to Houston or Golden State in the second round would be acceptable, given they put up a fight.
I’ll go out on a limb though and predict that LeBron James and the 2018-19 Los Angeles Lakers pull off the impossible – and end Golden State’s bid for a third straight title. It’s a tall order, no doubt. But I’ll ride and die with the new King of L.A.