NBA Analyst Stephen Smith weighs in on LA Lakers’ chances of winning the NBA championship this season after the latest trade acquisitions.
Los Angeles Lakers are far away in the playoff qualifications race after losing three consecutive games. The team is currently sitting at 27-32, good for just the 13th spot in the Western Conference points table. And with the playoffs just a few months away, the team will need to find a way to improve its consistency and chemistry if it hopes to make a deep run.
Meanwhile, to further give a push to the playoff cause, the Lakers front office made substantial moves at the trade deadline. The purple and gold acquired Malik Beasley, D’Angelo Russell and Jared Vanderbilt from the Timberwolves in a three-team trade deal. Further, the Lakers landed Mo Bamba from Orlando Magic by trading Patrick Beverley. Additionally, an NBA analyst believes the latest acquisitions have elevated the team’s chances of winning the NBA championship.
Stephen Smith Says Lakers Can Still Make It To The Playoffs But On One Condition
NBA analyst Stephen Smith recently appeared on the “First Take” show, where he spoke about the Lakers situation in length. He expressed confidence in the Lakers’ ability to contend for the title, despite their recent struggles. Further, the analyst went on to acknowledge that the Lakers have faced a number of challenges this season, including injuries to key players like Anthony Davis and LeBron James, as well as a lack of consistent performance from their supporting cast.
As per Smith, the Purple and gold still have time. With LeBron and Davis back healthy and the arrival of Russell, Malik, Vanderbilt and Mo Bamba, the analyst believes the Lakers can make it to the semifinals, to say the least. However, Smith did emphasise the importance of fitness. He said the key guys need to stay healthy if they want to stand a chance. Lastly, the analyst lauded Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and the entire front office for their efforts on the trade window.
“The Lakers healthy are going to the semifinals,” said Stephen Smith.
LeBron James Back After Injury Scare
The Lakers struggled the entire season due to frequent injury concerns. Firstly, they lost Anthony Davis for five weeks due to a stress foot injury. Further, Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker IV were benched due to fitness issues. Now, the team faced the latest scare when LeBron James got diagnosed with a sore foot. Apparently, James struggled with his ankle for the whole season, and the constant pressure aggravated the niggle.
Hence, LeBron James sat out for the whole week and missed three consecutive games. Losing James is concerning for the Lakers as LeBron is their leading point scorer of the tournament. However, the veteran stepped on the court yesterday for the game against the Pelicans. He played for close to 20 minutes and scored 21 crucial points. On top of that, James confirmed the foot is fine with no major damage, and he will play regularly from now.