The Los Angeles Lakers will not be one of the Western Conference’s top-4 teams according to ex-Lakers trainer Gary Vitti.
“I really don’t think they will be in the upper bracket,” Vitti told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“I don’t think they will be in the top four and then the question is: ‘what is going to separate 5 through 8 or 5 through 9?’ Because the team that doesn’t make it and it could be as close to one or two games, from 5 on down; it just depends on what the league does.”
Currently on a three game winning streak, the Los Angeles Lakers are 7-6 and are in eight place in the NBA’s Western Conference.
LeBron James signed as a free agent in Los Angeles this summer on a relatively young Lakers added roster that includes Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. “They inherited when they fired Mitch Kupchak and Jimmy Buss,” said Vitti.
“They were in pretty good shape. They had young kids, they had picks and they had money. And so what is going on now is sort of the fruition of those seeds that were planted back then.
For those keeping score at home, however, not only did the Lakers nab James, LA also added seasoned vets, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and Michael Beasley.
The Lakers started out rocky with losses to teams like the Portland Trail Blazers, Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs. With the emergence of potential Defensive Player of the Year candidate, JaVale McGee and free agent acquisition of Tyson Chandler, the Lakers are upping their game.
“The Western Conference is tough,” said Vitti on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“They certainly have a better chance of being a playoff team with LeBron. Maybe the greatest thing is the culture that the Lakers created may be reborn. There may be a renaissance there because of LeBron’s work ethic and his competitive nature that will rub off on the young kids. And I think that answers your question. I think they will be playoff team and I think they have a bright future, but they are definitely not there yet.”
Vitti believes that Golden State has the midas touch. “In this league today, you need a minimum of a three headed monster,” said Vitti.
“Golden State has four, if you consider Boogie [DeMarcus Cousins] a monster.”
Ironically, Boogie told me that he thinks the Lakers have a chance to beat the Warriors in the NBA Playoffs.
“They got the best player in the world,” DeMarcus Cousins told me of LeBron James.
“They’ve got a chance. We’ll see what happens when the ball goes up.”
Gary Vitti also weighed in: “In my opinion, he is probably the best center in the league, when he was in Sacramento, before he got hurt,” he said.
“So we will see how he comes back from his achilles thing. We will see what happens. Who we will see? I don’t know. Golden State has four or five guys that could take over a game.”