This week on “I Love Basketball,” Sabreena Merchant and I took a look around the league for teams that make us most nervous. The offseason is basically behind us at this point and most teams are who they’ll be heading into the season, so what better time to get an initial look at how the Los Angeles Lakers match up with their fellow title contenders?
We start in the Western Conference where, quite frankly, what stands out is how few teams honestly stand out. We might actually be heading into the first season in a couple of decades where the Eastern Conference is better than the Western Conference. For the Lakers, this honestly couldn’t have come at a better time.
But really, look around the conference and who seriously impresses you?
Phoenix sure seemed to benefit heavily from the entire conference breaking down around them and still couldn’t win a championship. The Clippers won’t have Kawhi Leonard. Denver won’t have Jamal Murray to start the year and maybe not at all next season. The Utah Jazz are frauds.
It’s really the Lakers’ conference to win, by a decent margin.
The Lakers couldn’t be happier for the lesser conference considering the teams at the top of the east, though, as both Sabreena and I consider the Brooklyn Nets the better team right now. A step down from there are the Milwaukee Bucks and then the Lakers are considerably better than the other potential teams they’d see in the finals, but the Nets are seriously impressive and we explain why.
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.