The Los Angeles Lakers are currently up 1-0 on the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Los Angeles looked every part of being the better team in Game 1 in the series and with Ja Morant’s status unclear, it is hard not to like the Lakers’ chances of advancing.
Fans should not put the cart in front of the horse as the team still needs to take care of business in round one against the Grizzlies. That being said, it is hard to not look ahead at the team’s potential path back to the Western Conference Finals and NBA Finals if all goes well.
If LA does manage to take care of business against Memphis then the path to the Western Conference Finals may end up being easier than expected. The Sacramento Kings took a 2-0 series lead over the Golden State Warriors on Monday night and while Sacramento is the higher seed in the West, this is a great thing for the Lake Show.
Lakers are the big winners of the Kings-Warriors series.
As great of a story as the Kings are this season, they definitely would be the easier matchup for the Lakers in the second round. Sacramento has a dynamic offense that has carried them to this point but they are one of the worst defensive teams in the entire NBA.
Meanwhile, the Lakers have been one of the best defensive teams in the league since the trade deadline. Los Angeles had the eighth-best defensive rating and sixth-best offensive rating in the league over the last 15 games of the season.
That is not to say that it would be an easy series for the purple and gold but it would be easier than having to go up against the experienced Golden State Warriors. Just because the Warriors are down 2-0 right now against the Kings does not mean they would be an easier matchup for LA.
The Warriors are one of the few teams in the Western Conference (perhaps the only team) that has more playoff experience than the Lakers do. That would definitely have an impact. Meanwhile, the Kings’ lack of playoff experience could create a disadvantage for LeBron James and Anthony Davis to take care of.
Let’s just say the Warriors do come back in this series and advance. If they do, it would have to be at least in a six-game series and likely would be in a seven-game series. If the Lakers can take care of business against the Grizzlies quickly, that would give them a massive rest advantage over the Warriors.
So either way, the Lakers are getting a much more favorable outcome from this series than initially expected when many thought the defending champions would run through the Kings.