Even though their regular season wasn't as good as they had last year, the Los Angeles Lakers are still considered big candidates to win it all this campaign. Unfortunately, a series of injuries hurt the purple and gold's chances to rank higher in the standings. But, now the LeBron James and Anthony Davis are back, this team looks as dangerous as before.
This is why certain teams apparently decided to rest their best players and lose the last couple of games to avoid facing the Lakers until later in the playoffs. The Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets used this strategy, which raised many eyebrows around the league.
However, according to Kyle Kuzma, this is all part of their plan to have an easier path to the title. The Lakers forward knows that his team is a threat for the rest of the conference and delaying a meeting with them is a good strategy for other teams.
"Well, I think you have to take a step back. It's easy to say a team is ducking another team or hiding from another team. But when you're trying to win championships and you're trying to advancem the playoffs is all about strategy. And I think, like I said earlier, a lot of times, seeding matters. And if you, in your first round, you want a team that's you're favorable against, you like that match up, of course you want that matchup. So you go to the second round and get your feet wet a bit. So, I don't look at it as ducking or anything like that. It's more so a strategy," he said.
Regardless of how bad things went from them at some point, the Lakers are a very competitive team. Now that their dynamic duo is back on the court, the rest of the league is on notice.
They will start their journey to win back-to-back titles against the Golden State Warriors in the play-in tournament. After that, they can face either the Phoenix Suns or Utah Jazz, depending on their result against the Dubs.