Short and obvious answer: No. Absolutely not. Probably won’t even make the playoffs. Fortunately, I’m not into giving short obvious answers. Let us dig a little into this and see what we come up with.
Let’s start with the Lakers raw talent. You’d be hardpressed to come up with a more talented 8th seed in NBA History. A starting line-up boasting, arguably, 4 future Hall of Famers and a former Defensive Player of the year as well. Now, I’ll give you that talent hasn’t meant too much but my point still being valid. Give me another starting five as accomplished who ended up being an 8th seed… I’ll wait…
Next, the Laker Legacy and Laker Pride. This has been by most accounts the Lakers most disappointing season in franchise history. That burden of being “The Lakers” is a heavy one to carry. But in an odd way, if these Lakers make the playoffs they can exhale. When is the last time the Lakers entered the playoffs with no expectations? That feeling of playing with house money, for a team this talented, can be dangerous for everyone else. The pressure on role players such as Jodie Meeks and Earl Clark will not be the usual Laker postseason pressure. This team will be able to “let their hair down” so-to-speak, and just play.
Lastly, Kobe Bean Bryant. If there is a guy you don’t want to face as a favorite, it’s the Mamba. This is what he lives for, a challenge. “Kobe Bryant leads the 8th seeded Lakers to a title.” You know how much more that will boost his ego? His ability to focus in and dominate the offensive end of the floor is unrivaled. It’s been a long season for him but with no back-to-backs in the playoffs tired legs won’t be a huge factor for Kobe and Co. Though you do worry about Kobe’s recent minutes load. Add to this Dwight Howard is coming around with his health and Pau Gasol seems to be finding his place in the offense, this team is dangerous. Make no mistake about that.
All that said, I can’t see it happening. Only once has an 8th seed even made the finals, 1998-99 New York Knicks. I don’t think they even make the playoffs. The lack of consistency with this team from quarter to quarter, yet alone game to game, is too prevalent for me to see them being consistent from late-April through mid-June.
As usual, thanks for reading! Subscribe, follow, share, and comment. I welcome all comments and will respond to all. We’ll see what tomorrow holds in the Life of A Basketball Addict! See you then!