Publish Date: January 26, 2022
Fact checked by: Jesse M Cox
The Lakers pulled off a big win over the Nets earlier this week and have started to show some life over the last month. After coming into the year as one of the title favorites they got off to a rough start and most of the league wrote the Lakers off as being a serious contender this year.
The last couple of weeks has shown us that things can change quickly in the NBA as evidenced by Kevin Durant going down with a knee injury and the Warriors falling back to earth recently. When you look at the East and West contenders I think a healthy Lakers could probably give any of them a run for their money in a 7 game series, especially if they can add a player or two at the trade deadline. Betting.net is your one-stop-shop for NBA information and head over to our strategies page if you want to get further tips and insights.
The Bucks are only 1 game out of 1st place in the East and the Cavs are only 1.5 back out of first place in a crowded Eastern Conference. The East has been a laughing stock for the last year and teams like the Bucks and Cavs have given new life to a conference that was dominated by Lebron when he was in the East. The Bucks still don’t get the bulk of the national attention compared to teams like the Nets or Warriors but they may have a deeper roster than they had a year ago. This could be an early Eastern Conference finals preview between teams
The Lakers have an opportunity to get another big East Coast twin on Wednesday night against the 76ers, who have been playing some of the best basketball in the league in recent weeks. Joel Embiid has been on a tear and is becoming a strong contender for league MVP if he can keep up the way he has been playing and get the Sixers one of the top spots in the East come playoff time.
The Lakers have struggled against good teams throughout the year and also have had a hard time putting back-to-back wins together throughout the early part of the season. Anthony Davis is back in the Lakers lineup and he will have plenty of pressure throughout the rest of the season due to how well Lebron is playing right now. If the Lakers fail to make the playoffs or out of the first round Davis is likely to be on his way out of LA.
The Suns and Jazz seem like they play each other every week and face off against each other again on Wednesday night in Utah. The Suns are favored by 1 as they look to finish off an impressive first half of the season heading into the All-Star break. The Jazz have been knocking on the door for several years and are a team to keep an eye on in the West that has the experience to get to the Finals this year.
Lamelo Ball vs. Lebron James will be a can’t miss matchup between the current and potential future face of the NBA. The Hornets have shown flashes to be one of the top teams in the East but have a very young roster that probably is still a couple of years away from contending for the conference title. The Hornets have five players averaging over 15 points a game and are led by Miles Bridges with 20 ppg and Ball at 19 ppg.
Ja Morant and Joel Embid are slowly improving their odds with each passing week and are two players to keep an eye on for the MVP. Giannis has been the most consistent player this season and has a great shot to be the last man standing when the season ends.