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NBA insider says Los Angeles Lakers will be ‘scary’ in playoffs for 1 major reason

If you haven’t noticed, the Los Angeles Lakers have developed serious momentum over the last month, and there is one major reason why their strong play is likely to continue and make them a serious threat in the Western Conference playoffs.

The Los Angeles Lakers struggles last season and in the first half of their current campaign have been well-documented. The poor mix of Lebron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook led to Frank Vogel being fired and many wondering if new head coach Darvin Ham was the right choice to replace him.

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However, before this year’s NBA trade deadline, Lakers’ general managers Rob Pelinka overhauled the roster in a major way. Out went players like Westbrook and Patrick Beverley, and in came players like D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, and Malik Beasley. All of them have been contributors to the team’s improved play since then.

What makes the Los Angeles Lakers situation all the more interesting is that the team has been playing much better while without James for much of that time. Now, with the NBA scoring king back in the fold the team is rounding into form just in time for the NBA Playoffs.

los angeles lakers
Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers record: 38-38

However, there is a very important reason for Lakers fans to be very hopeful about their chances in the postseason, as NBA insider Brian Windhorst explained during a Thursday edition of ESPN morning show “Get Up.”

“This team, since the trades in February, is the No. 1 defensive team in the league. Two days ago they were in tenth. Yesterday they were in ninth. Today they’re eighth. The Timberwolves are in seventh, guess who they’re playing tomorrow? This is still there for them. Never before, in my career, have I ever been sitting here telling you about a team sitting in eighth place on March 30th and having a discussion about them having real traction here.

“No. 1 defensive team. That’s how you win in the playoffs. Superstar players. Anthony Davis doing it at both ends. Austin Reaves coming through. These trades changed everything for them. This is a legitimate team. This is a scary team. They’re 12-7 since the trades. Forget about before. Forget about December. This is a better team than their record and the teams in the West better hope something gets in their way.”

– Brian Windhorst

Heading into Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers are just a game and a half out of the sixth spot in the West, which would help them avoid having to compete in the NBA Play-In tournament.

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