The Los Angeles Lakers were unable to make a major statement on Wednesday when they faced the Los Angeles Clippers; they lost, 125-118.
Still, they’re 14-7 since the All-Star break, which is one of the best records in the NBA during that span, and a growing number of people have been considering them as championship contenders over the last few weeks.
On “Inside the NBA” on Thursday, host Ernie Johnson asked the crew who they thought could reach the NBA Finals out of the Western Conference, and Kenny Smith said the Lakers were one of his picks, albeit as a sleeper team.
The Fellas list their sleeper teams in the West 👀 pic.twitter.com/RuEzwN1lqz
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 6, 2023
Los Angeles is 41-39 and in seventh place in the Western Conference. It still has a path to finishing sixth and bypassing the play-in tournament, although that path has narrowed significantly after the loss to the Clippers on Wednesday.
But regardless of where they finish in the standings, the Lakers will be a big concern for whomever they face in the playoffs, should they get there.