There are still plenty of teams who could end up challenging the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round.
LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have consistently been one of the best teams in the NBA this season which has allowed them to take the top spot in the Western Conference. While they were unable to clint first place last night, it is still expected that they will remain atop the standings by the end of the seeding games in August. With this in mind, they will be looking to play against the eighth-seeded team in the Western Conference, which could be anybody at this point.
As of right now, there is a very tight race for that final playoff spot as the Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers, and New Orleans Pelicans are all within striking distance. Not to mention, there is the potential for a play-in game if the ninth seed is within just four games. Having said that, LeBron was recently asked about this race by The Athletic. As you'll see, LeBron isn't really too worried right now.
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“I’m not paying attention to what’s going on with the eighth seed right now, there’s too much that can happen,” LeBron said. “And then there’s play-in games to decide that, so it’s too far away right now.”
All three of the aforementioned teams have given the Lakers a run for their money this season, although the Lakers have consistently been able to come out on top. While many feel like they are a shoo-in for the Western Conference Finals, the journey certainly won't be easy.