Strangely enough, though, one expert has the Lakers missing the playoffs in the 2018-19 season. Keep reading to find out about these projections along with if LA can overcome what the expert in question thinks.
Lakers Projected to Finish Ninth in the West
ESPN’s Kevin Pelton recently released his win projections on the 2018-19 campaign. His projections take into account midseason trades, randomness, unpredictable injuries, and a number of other factors.
That said, here’s a look at how many wins each Western Conference team will earn according to Pelton’s numbers:
- 1. Warriors — 58.6 wins
- 2. Jazz — 53.4 wins
- 3. Rockets — 53 wins
- 4. Nuggets — 50.5 wins
- 5. Timberwolves — 49.6 wins
- 6. Thunder — 47.2 wins
- 7. Pelicans — 44.1 wins
- 8. Blazers — 42 wins
- 9. Lakers — 41.2 wins
- 10. Spurs — 38.5 wins
Perhaps the biggest surprise here is the Lakers just barely missing out on a postseason bid. This is a team that won 35 games last year with a very young roster. Many expect them to win around 50 more games with LeBron now on the team.
Many would be shocked if this LA squad doesn’t at least land one of the eighth playoff berths. But then again, the West is so crowded with good teams that anybody in the top 10 could underachieve.
Lakers Added Some Nice Offseason Pieces
LA doesn’t plan on letting projections determine their fate. This team added some good pieces in the offseason, including Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, and Michael Beasley. They also return a nice core, including Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and Brook Lopez.
>Of course, the key player who gives them a chance is LeBron James. The 33-year-old is coming off a season where he averaged 27.5 PPG, 9.1 RPG, and 8.6 APG.
LeBron carried the Cleveland Cavaliers to a fourth-straight NBA Finals, where they were swept by the Golden State Warriors. And while nobody expects this year’s Lakers squad to be better than Golden State, it’s at least an interesting roster.
That said, don’t be surprised if LA exceeds Pelton’s projections and graps one of the higher playoff seeds in the West. Of course, there’s going to be plenty of competition for these seeds. But the Lakers definitely have the talent to contend for a playoff spot.