The Los Angeles Lakers left the 2019-2020 season as the best team in the West with a commanding five and a half game lead over the rival Los Angeles Clippers. They will find themselves trying to regain their momentum of dominating the league through these next eight games. Even though the Lakers’ playoff seeding probably won’t change, the team still needs to make sure they win as many games as possible to get their rhythm back.
July 30th vs. the Los Angeles Clippers: Loss
The NBA scheduling committee deserves credit for including this matchup on the first night back. Two of the best teams in the NBA will go head to head as Lebron James and Anthony Davis face off against Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. In the end, this game will not go in James’s favor, with the Clippers’ deep bench dominating the lackluster Lakers backups.
August 1st vs. Toronto Raptors: Win
Lebron James wants to win a ring in Los Angeles and have his jersey retired in his home arena’s rafters. To do so, he must win a championship. This will be the game that catapults him into playoff mode, where he dominates every aspect of the game.
August 3rd vs. Utah Jazz: Win
The Jazz are not a threat to the Lakers, though star center Rudy Gobert announced he will be heading to Orlando despite contracting COVID-19 in March. James can handle the young Donovan Mitchell on defense, and Davis can do all the work offensively.
August 5th vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: Win
There is nobody on the Thunders’ roster that can stop Lebron James. Even though the Thunder have talented defenders, forward Danilo Gallinari doesn’t have the slightest chance of keeping up with the 35-year-old James.
August 6th vs. Houston Rockets: Loss
Though the Lakers are the complete opposite of the Rockets, the Rockets will struggle containing both James and Davis in the paint. However, the Rockets are a much better shooting team than the Lakers, and James Harden will cause some problems for them.
August 8th vs. Indiana Pacers: Win
With Victor Oladipo out for the rest of the season, the Pacers will hand this win to the Lakers. Again, this is a team that does not match up well with Lebron. Myles Turner can hold his own against Davis, who might struggle in this game, but this will be another win for Los Angeles.
August 10th vs. Denver Nuggets: Win
This game will be much closer than the Indiana game because the Nuggets have multiple defenders that can guard both James and Davis. This will be where players such as Kyle Kuzma, J.R Smith, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope need to step up. They’ll be the deciding factor in this game.
August 13th vs. Sacramento Kings: Win
This game will be meaningless for the Lakers. Expect the team to rest their star players for the potentially grueling playoffs. Sacramento might still be fighting for a playoff spot, and they’ll definitely bring their best for this game.
The Lakers’ dominance throughout these eight games will allow them to maintain their position in the standings going into the playoffs. Thanks to their 6-2 record, they’ll still have the highest odds to win this year’s title.