After years of West dominance, last season the Eastern Conference seemed like the stronger one. With a lot of players making a return next season (Kawhi Leonard, Jamal Murray, Zion Williamson, just to name a few), the West should be back, and there are no easy games on the schedule anymore. Well, almost no easy games, according to Isiah Thomas.
“If you’re looking at an easy game, maybe the Lakers”
Isiah Thomas is skeptical of the Lakers' turnaround, even calling their games easy next season. It might be true, or the Purple and Gold could surprise everyone with their new style of play.
It’s true the Lakers are not going to be good overnight. It’s a process, and building chemistry and trusting the system takes time. The extra chip on their shoulder could serve as motivation next year.
Despite all the drama, they still have LeBron James and Anthony Davis, not to mention Dwight Howard and Russell Westbrook, who are all future Hall-of-Famers. Isiah might be eating his words next season, but he has to stand by what he said.
Why IT could be wrong
The Western Conference will always be stacked. The L.A. Clippers added reinforcements, the New Orleans Pelicans will welcome back Zion Williamson, Phoenix Suns will still be there, as well as the Dallas Mavericks which addressed their needs this offseason. Are the Lakers playoff contenders? We will have to see, but as expected, they will struggle in some parts of the season.
Another reason there is renewed hope in the team is the addition of Darvin Ham, a tough coach who is as real as it gets. If he instills discipline on the roster full of veteran players, it will be an exciting season for La La Land.
Any team with LeBron James will always be competitive. And Thomas forgets one thing: the Lakers could still land Kyrie Irving. If that happens and the roster remains healthy and focused, it would make the Lakers instant playoff contenders.
It's not like The King needsany extra motivation, but IT’s comments are just what James needs to get the fire going. It will be exciting to see how the team plays next year: if they will prove Thomas wrong or make him look like a prophet.