The Los Angeles Lakers head into the All-Star Break with a 27-32 record as the 13th seed in the Western Conference. While that is not a great outlook, the team has a brand-new roster and is not that far out of the play-in (and potentially rising above the play-in).
Los Angeles is only two games out of making the play-in tournament and is 3.5 games out of being a sixth seed. If the new-look roster is really an improvement then the Lakers should be able to make some sort of run.
While most fans are concerned with the team just getting into the NBA Playoffs, some NBA pundits are going as far as to say that this team is a true contender. Stephen A. Smith is one of those pundits, as he shared why he thinks the Lakers are possibly a title contender.
While Stephen A. says a lot of wild things that often rile up fanbases, this is something that LA fans can actually take inspiration from.
Lakers fans should learn to believe just like Stephen A. Smith (in moderation)
Smith guarantees that the Lakers will at least get through the first round of the NBA Playoffs if they are healthy and gives the team a 30% chance of making the Western Conference Finals from there. All things considered, that is a fair and reasonable prediction for the Lake Show.
After all, Anthony Davis and LeBron James still make up the best (if not no. 2 now to the Phoenix Suns) duo in the NBA. They are impossible to game plan against in a seven-game series and now they have a lot more help around them.
It is not absurd to believe in this team as a legitimate playoff contender that could upset some fans come April and May. Asking them to win the title this season might be a bit of a stretch but as we learn in professional sports all the time: we should expect the unexpected.
What is so great about Smith’s belief (and this is where the real lesson is for fans) is the moderation in which he believes in the Lakers. We had a lot of fans out here saying that the team was going to do something crazy like go 22-5 after making all of the moves at the deadline.
There seem to be two polarizing opposites when it comes to fans. Some fans believe that this team is now guaranteed to win a title while other fans are still completely out on this team with LeBron as its leader.
The Los Angeles Lakers have the means to improve via the buyout market and there is a new candidate that is used to playing alongside LeBron James.
In reality, we all should be somewhere in-between, right where Stephen A. Smith is.