by Chris Camello (@chris_camello)
LOS ANGELES – When the season officially gets the green light to resume, one can’t help but ask will there still be a favorite to win it all? Before this COVID-19 outbreak shut down the NBA and other sports leagues, many expected the Los Angeles Lakers, L.A. Clippers, and Milwaukee Bucks to be among the last teams standing.
The Lakers (49-14) were coming off a huge weekend with convincing victories over both the Bucks and Clippers. Even while owning the best record in the West, those statement wins really made the Lakers look like the favorites to win it all.
With a four-month layoff, it could be tough for the Lakers to pick up where they left off in March. They have an older roster and it’s unclear what kind of shape guys are in during this quarantine lacking access to gyms and hoops. Not to mention without the proper conditioning, players could be more susceptible to injuries.
However, many of the Lakers players haven’t been idle during this shutdown. Some, like LeBron James, have posted videos of their workouts on their social media.
If they get a two or three week training camp, it wouldn’t take them long to shake off the rust on the hardwood and get back into basketball shape, especially with a disciplined coaching staff pushing them everyday.
The team chemistry will also help the Lakers. This is a special group that genuinely enjoys playing with each other. It shouldn’t take long for that aspect to get re-established either.
Perhaps the biggest thing that should help the Lakers get on track is the leadership and talent of both King James and Anthony Davis. Both were having amazing seasons and as long as they are healthy, it will be tough for any opponent to beat this team four times in a series.