The Los Angeles Lakers are the defending NBA Champions thus the target is naturally on the purple and gold’s back. The Lakers are currently the favorites to win the NBA Championship in 2021, but there are several teams that are looking to keep the Lakers from repeating.
There are quite a few teams that could legitimately see the Lakers either in the NBA Finals or on the Lakers’ path to the Finals. The NBA is loaded with great teams this season, which is a welcome sign compared to previous years where the title winner was almost a foregone conclusion.
There are four teams in the Eastern Conference and three teams in the Western Conference that could be viewed as legitimate title contenders. Some are actual threats to the Lakers, some we should not fret about.
Let’s get into “threat or don’t fret”, starting with those that the Lakers should not fret about from the Eastern Conference.
Los Angeles Lakers’ “don’t fret” Eastern Conference teams:
Yes, I know they have the best player in the league in Giannis Antetokounmpo but the Los Angeles Lakers have the formula to beat the Bucks and I don’t think Giannis and the Bucks are dynamic enough to beat the Lakers in a seven-game series.
Granted, if the Bucks make it to the NBA Finals then that would allude to the fact that they have made adjustments and were able to finally get over the hump and win three playoff series.
At the end of the day, though, the Lakers have too much manpower and depth for the Bucks to overcome and it will take Giannis getting a jump shot to get past a team like the Lakers.
Yep. The superstar trio finds itself in the don’t fret category. Quite frankly, I do not like how these stars mesh together and the defense is absolutely awful. They have been allowing bad teams in close games because they simply cannot defend.
I think the Nets can definitely make the NBA Finals because of the matchups in the Eastern Conference, I just think they match up so terribly against the Los Angeles Lakers and would legitimately be beaten in six games at the absolute most.
Ironically, I like their chances to make the Finals over a team that is in the threat category, but I would be more worried if a particular team from the threat category squared off with the Lakers in the Finals.