With the standings officially set, all eyes are on the upcoming matchups, and which teams we can expect to make a significant run in their Conference.
For the Lakers, the task of repeating as Champions was never going to be an easy one. But now, amid injury struggles and a place at 7th in the West, it will prove to be especially challenging.
According to Jared Dudley, it will be the hardest challenge any team has faced in league history.
It sounds like hyperbole, and perhaps it is, but Dudley probably isn’t far off.
The lowest seed to win a title is the 1995 Rockets, who beat the Magic in the Finals to win as the 6th seed.
The Lakers would not only have to win the play-in game and get through three rounds of a bitter Western Conference, they’d also then have to go against a superteam in Brooklyn, who (at the moment) is far more talented.
They’d have to do it all with no home-court advantage.
LeBron is 36, Anthony Davis isn’t yet 100%, and the role players haven’t played with much consistency. It will take a full and cohesive effort from the team if they want any hope of pulling it off.
Still, if any team can do it — it’s this Lakers squad.