The Los Angeles Lakers secured the 7th seed in the Western Conference but their prize is far from what they expected. Instead of having an easy path to the playoffs, they now have to deal with Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors in the play-in game.
Needless to say, that once again fueled the never-ending debate and comparisons between LeBron James and Stephen Curry, two huge rivals over the past decade.
While it's clear that neither of those players has anything to prove at this point in their career, it's way more than a playoff berth on the line.
You know that LeBron doesn't want to lose to the same guy who beat him 3 times in the Finals, and Steph doesn't want to lose to the same guy who came down from 3-1 to spoil his 73-9 season.
But, according to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, Curry is a way bigger threat right now and a more dangerous player than LeBron James, as he recently said on First Take:
"Steph Curry and LeBron James went against each other in the Finals 4 times. How many championships did Steph Curry win? 3. (...) Steph beat LeBron. That's the bottom line. (...)" Smith said.
Truth be told, the Warriors are peaking at the right time and have beaten multiple contenders over the past couple of weeks, whereas the Lakers are just getting their groove back after dealing with multiple injuries.
Regardless of who wins the 7-8 game in the play-in tournament, both the Warriors and Lakers would be favored over the Spurs or Grizzlies and are likely to make the playoffs.
Then again, I think we can all agree with Stephen A. Smith when he says that a red-hot Stephen Curry coming off a Scoring Title is the last person you want to see in a one-game situation.