The Los Angeles Lakers-NBA Title Favorites
The NBA finally has the parity that it has been clamoring for since Kevin Durant joined the Warriors. This time last year, and the 2 years before that, it was Golden State versus the field with no real challenge. This season has given us three true contenders in the Bucks, Clippers, and the Lakers. Lost in the premature ”best player in the world” coronation of Kawhi and Giannis is the Lakers’ quiet dominance.
Somehow, the NBA isn't talking about the Lakers enough as the favorites to win the title. The Bucks have been historically great this season, and the Clippers have the two best 2-way superstars in basketball, so why should the Lakers be the favorites? The first reason is Anthony Davis and the second is LeBron James. It's not ridiculous to say that Anthony Davis has been a top 5 player this season. LA’s defense has been consistently excellent this season, and it's all due to Anthony Davis being the clear choice for Defensive Player of the Year. He's averaging 2.5 blocks and 1.5 steals to go along with 26.5 points and 9.5 rebounds. While LeBron has been great (we'll get to him), Davis is one of the main reasons LA should be favorites to reach the Finals.
The second reason why LA should be the favorites is simple: they have LeBron James and nobody else does. When the stakes are highest, you need your best players to carry you to victory, and there is no player on earth better than LeBron. He's been great this season, averaging 25-10-7 and has turned it up to another level with convincing wins over the Bucks and the Clippers, outplaying Giannis and Kawhi along the way. If you need any more convincing, watch the second half of both of those games, and you'll come away with two conclusions: LeBron James is the best player in the world and the Lakers are the best team in the NBA, and they'll prove it in June.