The young Lakers might not be as bad we think — particularly against a juggernaut such as Golden State.
Before you say anything, yes the Lakers lost again to the Warriors in overtime. But think about for a minute; it took the Warriors overtime — twice — to a young Lakers team with a point guard that is still finding himself and a team that has yet to see any one of the young players really take the reigns.
That’s shocking, even for the most harsh critics of Lonzo Ball and company.
It took a Kevin Durant crossover and a block from David West on Lonzo Ball to end the game. In that process, regardless of the loss, the Lakers have shown us more than once now that they can really play against the Warriors.
In their first match up, everyone that would’ve made a difference on both ends was healthy, and Golden State squeaked by, winning by four points. Then, on Monday night in Los Angeles, the Lakers again pushed the defending champs to overtime, with the difference being just two points.
Things are starting to come together for the young Lakers, and that should be more of a concern for the Warriors than anything else when it comes to teams that could dethrone them before even reaching any depth in the playoffs.
If it does come down to a Golden State versus Los Angeles best of seven series in the first round, it will be one of the most entertaining clashes of basketball we’ve seen in the Western Conference in a long time. The defending champs, who’ve won two of the last three rings, versus the up and coming young guns.
Let’s break down why the Lakers are now in a place where they can contend with Golden State. This doesn’t necessarily mean they can win a seven game series as soon as this season, but it raises their chances quite a bit compared to what they were coming into the season.
Here’s the three reasons the Lakers proved us wrong about how they match up with Golden State.