Former Golden State Warriors champion, Andrew Bogut, has recently taken a bold stance that has caught the attention of basketball enthusiasts. In his recent prediction, Bogut suggests that the LA Lakers may end up in the 10th seed for the upcoming Western Conference season.
This, understandably, could raise eyebrows, given the intense rebuild the Lakers' General Manager, Rob Pelinka, underwent this summer. While many anticipate the Lakers to be among the top contenders, the Western Conference's depth is undeniable.
Emerging teams like the Sacramento Kings, who made a playoff appearance last season, and the Dallas Mavericks, with their significantly enhanced roster, might be reasons behind Bogut's skepticism about the Lakers' regular-season success.
Bogut's Bold Prediction
Discussing his predictions on his "Rogues Bogues" podcast, Bogut remarked, "This was a hard one... 8, New Orleans. 9, OKC. 10, Lakers." It’s worth noting that if the Lakers only make it to the play-in tournament, it could be seen as a season letdown, especially after their rapid ascend in the standings post the February trade deadline the previous season.
ESPN's Stephen A. Smith weighs in, pointing out a significant determinant: Anthony Davis' health. Since the Lakers' triumphant 2020 NBA Championship win, Davis has been battling injuries. He was notably in prime form last season until a back injury hindered his performance.
"Is Anthony Davis going to be a superstar or... 'Six Flags'?" Smith questioned, emphasizing the inconsistency in Davis' gameplay. Smith further opined, "In order to beat the Phoenix Suns, the Denver Nuggets... Anthony Davis has to be a superstar consistently." The message was clear: for the Lakers to solidify their position as frontrunners, Davis needs to be at his peak consistently.
His elite skills, both offensively and defensively, are indispensable for the team. While Bogut's predictions have stirred a debate, it is undeniable that the performance and health of key players, especially Davis, will be pivotal for the Lakers in the forthcoming season.