For the first time since 2013, the Los Angeles Lakers are back in the playoffs. The historic franchise has been in somewhat of a limbo since the late Kobe Bryant tore his Achilles in April 2013, effectively ending the days of his elite play. After his retirement, the Lakers organization struggled to find an identity and the team was largely mediocre.
Enter LeBron James. After a first year plagued by injuries and locker room drama, the Lakers acquired Anthony Davis from the Pelicans and have not looked back. Los Angeles sits atop the Western Conference with a 5 game lead above Denver and has ensured a spot in the playoffs after a statement win against the Bucks.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James are seen by most as the top two MVP candidates for this season. Their battle this game was just plain old fun, going back and forth desperately trying to push their team over the edge. In the end, James came out on top. He scored 37 points to Giannis’ 32 along with 8 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 assists.
A team like the Lakers is built for playoff basketball. When the game slows down and the shots might not be falling, they have two elite players who can get physical, post up and create their own shot to carry them.
The team is stockpiled with an array of veterans with playoff experience. LeBron James is doing spectacular things in his 17th season in the NBA and is showing why he is thought of by some as the greatest player ever. The combination of James and Davis has been deadly and no one can stop their pick and roll game. They will be the favorite in any playoff matchup they have in the West. Championship level play has returned for the Lakers and the city of Los Angeles has a lot to be excited about.