Updated: Sep 16, 2020
Playoff LeBron has been activated, and the Lakers are almost definitely going to reach the Western Conference Finals. But will they get a chance to hoist the O'Brien trophy? Up until now, both, the Lakers and Rockets are inconsistent and not even close to championship caliber. In Game 1, the Los Angeles allowed itself to be dominated by a small-ball lineup. In Games 2 and 3, LeBron powered the City of Angels to take a 2-1 series lead.
But what was most surprising is Rajon Rondo's comeback performance in Game 3 after sitting out because of a thumb fracture. He recorded 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting and also had nine assists. In Game 2, he was more effective on the defensive end, with five steals. Rondo brings a veteran presence to a fairly young roster with the exceptions of LeBron, Dwight Howard, J.R. Smith, and few others.
Going back to the matter at hand, how can the Lakers become a championship team? They already have LeBron James, which is a key in making the Finals. James reached 8 of the last 9 NBA finals, winning 3 of them. In 2007, he even led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the finals, without a supporting cast. But the Lakers' cross-town rivals are likely to come out on top, even if they only split the season series. The Clippers are even stronger with Patrick Beverley back, and they're not willing to go down without putting up a sturdy fight. Their defense is elite, and might even cause an inconvenience for James and Co.
At the end of the day, the Lakers are favored to win the Finals with the addition of Anthony Davis this season, but are not yet complete enough to even reach the Finals. It has an experienced roster with some youngsters, but the team is not polished to reach the finish line.