The Los Angeles Lakers have looked pretty good during these first few days of the restart. LeBron looks rested, AD looks healthy, and the team appears ready for a long playoff run.
They recently clinched the West’s no. 1 seed and though many are firm believers in the Lakers, Stephen A. Smith suggested on First Take that there’s still plenty of reason to worry.
“Still worried about those Lakers?
Yes I am. For one because that number one seed means absolutely nothing because it’s to ensure home-court advantage and obviously because of the situation evolving — a global pandemic — and the fact that you’ve got a bubble in Orlando, there is no home-court advantage.
Number two, Avery Bradley… elected not to join the team. So as a result you’ve got an elite on-ball defender that’s gone from you. Rondo goes down hurt, he’s out.”
Without home-court advantage, there really is no benefit to having the top seed. Theme clinching that spot does practically nothing for them going forward.
As for the rest, they are without several key players (as Stephen A. mentioned). The absence of Rondo and Bradley will hurt them and could be a huge liability against teams like the Rockets or Blazers.
So, yes, perhaps it’s time we should pump the brakes on L.A. Because if there’s one thing we learned, it’s that anything can happen come playoff time.