Lakers Clinch the Best Record in the West, Still Have a Lot to Accomplish (Hollywood Hoops NBA Podcast)

The Los Angeles Lakers just did something they haven’t done in a decade: clinch the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. But the Purple and Gold have a long way to go if they’re to turn that top billing into another NBA Finals appearance—let alone a 17th championship—with LeBron James and Anthony Davis at the helm. They have plenty of stiff competition to fend off, including Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and the Los Angeles Clippers.

On this week’s episode of Hollywood Hoops, Eric Pincus and Josh Martin evaluate how the Lakers and Clippers are holding up on the court inside the league’s bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida. Our co-hosts consider the importance (or lack thereof) of the Lakers snapping a seven-year playoff drought by clinching the best record in the West, when home court advantage has never meant less for basketball’s most popular franchise. That fact is doubly troubling when considering the potential slate of postseason opponents for the Purple and Gold.

Of greater concern, though, is how the Lakers will rustle up enough shooting, and whether JR Smith and Dion Waiters can give this squad the perimeter elements it needs to succeed. Does this team have what it takes to win it all? Or will this year’s stacked field be too much for a talented but flawed group to overcome?

Among the Lakers’ top challengers are the Clippers, who draw Eric and Josh’s attention with their deadly outside shooting and strong play from their own dynamic duo. What will Lou Williams bring to the table now that he’s back in the bubble? Could Montrezl Harrell’s absence impact what LouWill brings to the table?

Finally, our co-hosts debate the National Basketball Coaches Association’s choices for Coach of the Year and whether Frank Vogel and Doc Rivers should’ve gotten more love from their peers for the jobs they’ve done.

00:00 – Lakers Clinch Top Seed
14:57 – Purple-and-Gold Problems?
30:24 – Clippers’ Lou-Trezz Conundrum
46:02 – Who’s Your Coach of the Year?

Co-host of Hollywood Hoops, Eric Pincus covers the Los Angeles Lakers for Bleacher Report while serving as capologist for NBA TV and Basketball Insiders. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram, @EricPincus.

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