Skip to main content

The Los Angeles Lakers Had The Easiest Path To The Championship In The Last 30 Years

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are the 2020 NBA champions after a season that had everything, including the possibility of being canceled due to a global pandemic. The league made everything they could to play out the rest of the season and give the fans the show they all wanted to see. Well, they did and the Lakers are now tied as the winningest team in NBA history with the Boston Celtics, their archrival.

It wasn't an easy task to complete and some people even dared to say this was the hardest championship to win given all the external factors that the team had to overcome to go to the bubble and the pressure they felt at the Walt Disney Resort where they weren't many things to do besides thinking of basketball. Some people tried to create a narrative that this was the hardest championship ever but according to the numbers, that is far from reality.

Frank Urbina of HoopsHype recently revealed that the Lakers had the easiest path to the championship in the last 30 years. They only played a Game 6 during the playoffs and it came in the Finals, where they absolutely dominated the game and beat the Miami Heat 106-93.

According to our research, with a combined opponent regular-season win percentage of 57.9 percent, the Lakers just had the easiest path to a championship since the 1985-86 Celtics.

Overall, Los Angeles’ title run was 17th “easiest” ever based on opponent regular-season win rate, and the fifth easiest since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976, which many consider the start to the modern era of professional basketball in America.

Only the 1986-87 Lakers (54.0 percent combined opponent regular-season percentage), the 1987-88 Lakers (56.4 percent), the 1983-84 Celtics (56.7 percent) and the 1985-86 Celtics (57.3 percent) had less challenging foes on their way to a championship than this year’s Lakers.

Credit: HoopsHype

Credit: HoopsHype

The Lakers beat the Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets all in five games. Curiously, they lost the first game of their first two series, winning four straight matches in back-to-back series. The Denver Nuggets appeared to be a harder competition to the Lakers but they easily got rid of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.

In the Finals, Jimmy Butler and his Miami Heat tried with everything to upset the Lakers but their attempts were useless. The Lakers were just too much to handle for the Heat and now they're tied with the Boston Celtics for the most titles in NBA history.