Round one: The Memphis Grizzlies
- Instead of: The New Orleans Pelicans
The Los Angeles Lakers are not going to get a significant challenge in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Unlike other professional sports, the chances of the lowest-seeded playoff team beating the highest-seeded playoff team in a seven-game series is much slimmer, as over half the league makes the playoffs.
The Memphis Grizzlies would still be the easiest realistic matchup for the Lakers and should be one that the team walks right through and sweeps their way into the second round.
There are things to get excited about with Memphis if you are a Grizzlies fan, especially Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson. However, they are far too inexperienced and as great as Ja Morant is at such a young age it is very hard to see him beating LeBron James and Anthony Davis in a single playoff game.
The one matchup that the Lakers would not want to see is against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Lakers swept the Pelicans in the regular season and New Orleans had no answers for LeBron James, who did what he wanted.
However, they play with a fast, grueling pace that could not only make the Lakers work much harder than they have to in the first round but could even steal a game. Heck, if the Pelicans are really shooting lights out then I could see them stealing a second game to extend the series to six games.
The Lakers will not come close to losing the series, but a series with the Pelicans could put more miles on the Lakers’ legs than a series with the Grizzlies.