The Lakers finished the non-playoff Bubble schedule with a 3-5 record after a loss to the Sacramento Kings. For a team that came into the re-start with a solid hold on the #1 seed there wasn’t a lot of drama for them in Orlando. The goal had to be to keep the team healthy and integrate the new players, J.R. Smith and Dion Waiters.
While Waiters looked ready to contribute off the bench we may only see Smith in spot duty when the games begin to count.
Of course, the very best thing about the Waiters/Smith duo is the greatest buddy nickname in the history of the Association. Dion “Philly Cheese” Waiters and J.R. “Swish” Smith will forever be known as Swish Cheese!
Aside from that, Kyle Kuma is ready to post up Jesus, or at least shoot over him. Confidence is a great thing! When you give it to the right player it can propel him or her to greatness. Confidence in the mind of someone who doesn’t have the skillset to back it up is well, dangerous. Kuzma has the skills and looks to be ready to be the third option the Lakers will need to win a Championship. Although, Keven Durant is betting on the other guy in a Kuzma v Jesus battle.
<center><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I got Jesus gettin a stop</p>— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) <a href="https://twitter.com/KDTrey5/status/1293304514020220928?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 11, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center>
The Lakers have a tough road ahead of them. They will face either the Portland Trailblazers, Memphis Grizzlies or the 8-0, would be 10-0 if they make it to the playoffs, Phoenix Suns! Of those teams only the Blazers have a legitimate chance to take down the Purple & Gold. After that would be the Rockets or Thunder then potentially the battle of LA against the Clippers in the Western Conference Finals.
No matter how you slice it, the road to NBA Championship #17 is rough for the Lakers in 2020.
Regarldess, after a six season dry spell, the Lakers are back in the NBA playoffs and with the #1 seed! Ya, they lost to the Kings in the final regular season re-start game, but who cares. They are healthy and ready to compete for the Larry OB!
Jose has written for Bleacher Report, Clipperholics, OC Weekly and wrote a series of articles covering the 2010 NBA Finals for the LA Times. He lives in Southern California and is excited to watch thePeachBasket grow!