2. The Western Conference is way too talented
In the Eastern Conference maybe, maybe, you can make a case for the Lakers squeezing into the playoff pictures. The East has the Cavs, Celtics, Wizards and Raptors proudly occupying the top four spots. Outside of that quartet, the rest of the playoff spots are up for grabs in the East. With a lot of rebuilding teams out East, the Lakers would fit in quite nicely.
In the Western Conference, they face no chance. Although talks of changing the playoff format to 16 numbered seeds have been presented, for now, the Lakers have to battle the monsters of the West.
The Warriors, Thunder, Rockets, Spurs and Timberwolves are all locks for the top five spots in the Western Conference. This leaves 10 teams to battle for the final three spots. Although they are battling for the bottom of the barrel, the Lakers have some very tough competition to even have a chance at postseason basketball.
The Los Angeles Clippers are still better than the Lakers. With DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, LA has one of the best frontcourts in basketball. Speaking of good frontcourts, the Pelicans have the dynamic duo of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. Although they struggled last season, the talent is there.
The Portland Trailblazers are a good team that can only get better. Damian Lillard is one of the most underrated point guards in the game and has the perfect partner in C.J. McCollum.
Memphis is still good with Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, Denver has gotten better with the addition of Paul Millsap and the Jazz are still very talented despite losing Gordon Hayward.
Realistically, the Lakers are only more talented than the Kings, Mavericks and Suns – and even that is a stretch. Expect the team to win some games against the East, but struggle in the West.