Los Angeles Lakers 2022 NBA Championship Betting Keys

Then the Lakers made big moves to acquire Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards, critics questioned if a “Big Three” made of Westbrook, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis could deliver a championship to Los Angeles. When the franchise put the finishing touches on the roster with seasoned veterans like Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, and Trevor Ariza, more questions were raised.

Heading down to the last few weeks of the 2021/22 NBA regular season, Los Angeles struggles to secure a spot in the Western Conference Play-In Tournament despite entering the season with solid NBA odds of reaching the Finals. With that, we look at the three keys for the Lakers to win the NBA Championship.

3 Keys For the Los Angeles Lakers To Reach The 2022 NBA Finals Despite Struggles

Anthony Davis’ return

Davis’ injury greatly affected the team’s performance since his injury. The eight-time All-Star only played 37 games this season and hasn’t made an appearance for the Lakers since the second week of February. Nevertheless, if everything goes as planned for the star big man, he can make a return before the regular-season calendar closes. Sources say that he can return by the first week of April, at the earliest.

The Lakers struggled to find traction with Davis at first, going 2-9 after the All-Star weekend. Regardless, the squad was in dire need of a win and pushed role players like Austin Reaves and Stanley Johnson to their best, while James carried much of the offensive burden.

The former Pelicans player was a crucial component in the Lakers’ 2020 NBA Championship title. The team produced an 18-7 record in the past two postseasons when the duo of Davis and James were in the lineup and finished games. This is the primary motivation of L.A.’s locker room amidst the hardships. If Davis can make a return, there might be enough time left to build momentum before the Play-In Tournament and a shot at another Championship showing.

Close the regular season strong

The numbers are against the odds for the Lakers. As of March 24, the team has a 7% chance of making the postseason. This is lower than other Play-In Tournament candidates like the Timberwolves, Pelicans, and the Clippers. Ultimately, the Lakers are banking on a solid Western Conference Play-In Tournament run. They record an 82% chance of making it to this stage of the season and are likely to challenge the aforementioned teams for a ticket to the playoffs.

the Lakers need to be primed. They have games with nine remaining games in the regular season and a relatively challenging road ahead against playoff contenders such as the Mavs, Jazz, Warriors, and the Suns. If the rest of the squad stays healthy while waiting for Davis’ return, there’s a good chance that they collect wins for a better position by the second week of April.

LeBron James

The four-time NBA champion just missed his 19th game of the season as the Lakers fell into the hands of the Sixers. James continues a streak of bad health since signing for the Lakers, missing 27 games last season and another 27 games in his first season with the franchise.

James has been the talisman of the Lakers since Davis’ injury. He is coming off a 38-point triple-double performance against his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. At 37, he continues to play at a high level and averaged 30 points, eight assists, and six rebounds so far this season. He is the only player to record such statistics in the history of the game. Moreover, “The King” recently hit another milestone this year and is the only player in the league’s history to score more than 10,000 points, assists, and rebounds.

Los Angeles Lakers 2022 NBA Championship odds

The Lakers showcased promising numbers at the start of the season. However, as the season went by and the team went through several ruts, we watched the odds go against them. But with Davis’ impending return, the Lakers might see a positive trend at the end. Los Angeles stays in playoff contention in the Western Conference regardless of the turmoil and booked a slot in the Play-In Tournament no matter how the Western Conference shapes up.

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*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.