Los Angeles Lakers: Why the title odds have gone down in the bubble

Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers /

2. The Los Angeles Lakers’ playoff path is so tough

The Los Angeles Lakers probably have the toughest possible path to winning the NBA Finals that is possible and this is without even considering the path that was the season’s hiatus. That alone makes it a daunting task and the teams that the Lakers have to play in the NBA Playoffs is tough.

First off, it is increasingly likely that the Lakers will be squaring off against the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs. Typically, a one versus eight seed is a walk in the park, but Portland is red-hot, is healthy and is probably the most over-qualified eighth seed I have seen in my lifetime.

Once the Lakers get past that they are going to play the winner of the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder, which likely will be the Thunder. Again, this is a daunting second-round matchup against an MVP finalist and a team that is overall really hard to gameplan against in Houston.

RELATED: Facing the Suns is the best-case scenario for the first round of the NBA Playoffs

Then you have the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference Finals. The Clippers are a title-worthy team that easily could win it all this season. Having to play them in the Western Conference Finals is absolutely brutal.

Then, if the Lakers get to the NBA Finals, they have to play the best player in the league who is probably going to become the third player ever (Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon) to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season — Giannis Antetokounmpo.

We already knew the Clippers and Bucks would be part of the challenge and would be a really tough one at that. But the first two rounds? Brutal.