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Podcast: Are we paying enough attention to non-Lakers or Nets contenders?

The Lakers and Nets are heavy betting favorite to face off in the finals. Should they be?

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NBA: Preseason-Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are less than two weeks from their season opener and, like the rest of the league, have some fairly daunting questions to answer before Oct. 19. That we seemingly know so little heading into the season is what makes it so fascinating. To discuss that and plenty more, this week on “The Anthony Irwin Show,” I welcomed Chris Herring of Sports Illustrated.

Much of the focus has (correctly) been on the Lakers and Brooklyn Nets when it comes to the title conversation. Their star-studded rosters make it such that it’s almost impossible to see other teams competing in a seven-game series. So I started the conversation by asking if Herring thinks we might be overlooking some of the other teams. He agreed.

The Lakers have to see how Russell Westbrook and LeBron James fit together. Brooklyn has to figure out what is going on with Kyrie Irving. Yes, other teams have questions and don’t have ceilings as high as those two teams, but given neither team was in the finals last year, we should probably be talking a little more about the teams that were, for example.

Speaking of Irving, Chris and I discussed a piece he wrote for Sports Illustrated about the loud minority in the NBA’s response to the COVID vaccine.

We wrap up our conversation about his book, “Blood in The Garden: The Flagrant History of The 1990s New York Knicks.” Specifically, how wild it is that Pat Riley has played such a central role in some of the most popular stretches in three different franchise’s histories.

You can listen to all that and more in the full episode below, and to make sure you never miss a show, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.

And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.