For the first time in 10 years, the Los Angeles Lakers have officially secured their spot atop the Western Conference. The last time Lakers fans witnessed this feat was in 2010, when Kobe and Pau repped the purple and gold.
All Stats Courtesy of basketball-reference.com
The Lakers achieved this mark in last night’s win over the Utah Jazz, 116-108. While LeBron James had a near triple-double g with 22 points, 9 assists, and 8 rebounds, it was Anthony Davis who stole the show.
In 39 minutes of play, AD put up a whopping 42 points and 12 rebounds. His brilliant performance was capped off by a 4-point play over DPOY winner Rudy Gobert. Davis went at Gobert all night, and was virtually unstoppable. Come playoff time, this arises the question:
if Rudy Gobert can’t guard AD, who in the world can?
If the current standings hold, the Lakers will face off against Ja Morant and the Grizzlies in round 1. While Morant is proving to be a future NBA superstar, Memphis will be incredibly outmatched.
Looking further down the road, we all are expecting a battle of LA in the conference finals. It’s hard to see anyone knocking off either powerhouse. In that match-up, things will get interesting. This year, the Lakers split the season series against the Clippers. Their most recent victory against Kawhi’s squad actually came in the bubble, where the Lakers came out on top 103-101.
Albeit that was just one game, it can’t be ignored. LeBron missed the playoffs entirely last year, and it’s clear he did not come to Orlando to lose. Combined with the freakishly good Davis, Los Angeles is the team to beat this year.