Coming into the 2020-2021 season, the Los Angeles Lakers were the odds on favorites to win the NBA Finals.
However, after a very rough regular season, it is up in the air if they will even secure a spot in the first round of the playoffs.
As a result of this, there has been a consistent fluctuation in the rotation.
This has led to players not getting comfortable playing with each other or being solidified into a certain role.
This inconsistency is something that could doom the Lakers’ hopes of repeating as NBA champions.
There are two scenarios that could doom the Lakers in the playoffs.
1. Continued Injuries
The first scenario that could doom the Los Angeles Lakers is if they are still bitten by the injury bug.
If James or Davis is kept out through the playoffs due to injury, there is not enough talent left on the roster to take down some of the other juggernauts in the league.
To take down teams like the Clippers, Nets, or Nuggets, the Lakers will have to be at full strength.
Injuries have already done a lot to set the team back in more ways than one.
With Davis and James missing major time down the final stretch of the season, they have not been able to spend much time on the court with newly acquired star Andre Drummond.
When he was added to the team, it was thought that Drummond would be the third star that the Lakers have been desperately searching for since acquiring Anthony Davis.
However, without Davis and James on the court, Drummond has been lackluster.
Lakers record this season
32-19 without Andre Drummond
5-11 with Andre Drummond pic.twitter.com/FoswcTBzXB
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 8, 2021
Along with this, there is no on court chemistry between the three players.
This is something they will have to try to find during the most important stretch of the year.
If injuries continue to riddle the Lakers, there is no hope of them taking home another championship this season.
2. Poor Seeding Leading To Tough Matchups
The second doomsday scenario for the Los Angeles Lakers is if they draw the short stick in matchups.
The worst case scenario in terms of matchups would have the Lakers facing off against the Golden State Warriors in the play in tournament, the Phoenix Suns in the first round, the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round, the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, and the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA Finals.
Even with the roster at full health and firing on all cylinders, this would be a difficult path to a championship.
However, when considering all of the other factors that have held the Lakers back, this path would make a repeat title almost impossible.
They would face Steph Curry playing some of the best basketball of his life in the play in.
With five games to go, the Lakers are currently set to play the Warriors in the play-in tournament 👀 pic.twitter.com/jnV3etuGxj
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 8, 2021
Then, they would play a red hot Phoenix Suns team headed by Chis Paul, Devin Booker, and DeAndre Ayton.
After that, they would be the underdogs in the battle for LA with the Clippers looking better than ever.
In the Western Conference Finals, they would either play the top seeded team in the West or a Denver Nuggets team that gave them a run for their money last year and likely has the MVP on their roster.
Finally, they would go against the most talented team on paper in the NBA against the Brooklyn Nets.
Having it come on the tail end of an already difficult playoff run would be a doomsday scenario for the Lakers.