The Los Angeles Lakers’ 2018-19 NBA season is a distant memory of LeBron James’ early stumbles with the purple and gold.
As of the team’s victory on Friday night against the Washington Wizards, they’ve now matched a franchise-best start after playing their first 19 games of the season. That keeps them near the best odds to win the 2020 NBA title.
Lakers extend win streak, tie franchise-best 19-game start
The success of the Los Angeles Lakers is thanks largely in part to the stellar play of their top two All-Star players — Anthony Davis and LeBron James. In Friday’s 125-103 win over the Wizards, both players recorded double-doubles in a solid overall effort.
Davis had 26 points on 8-of-15 shooting and also collected 13 rebounds. LeBron finished with 23 points and 11 assists. They also received another double-double courtesy of JaVale McGee, who finished with 15 points and 11 boards.
That seemingly easy win pushed the Lakers’ season record to 17-2, which ties a franchise-best start after 19 games. Two previous Lakers teams achieved that start. The 1985-86 team, which included Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, also posted that start.
That team would achieve the best two-game loss start for a Lakers’ season at 19-2. While they entered the season as the defending champions, they’d end up losing to the Houston Rockets, 4-1, in the 1986 Western Conference Finals.
The 2008-09 Lakers team also started out at 17-2, behind Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. They’d go on to capture the NBA championship that season, beating the Orlando Magic, 4-1. The current Lakers’ squad has similar aspirations to win it all behind their stars.
Current Lakers’ odds to win NBA title
It’s no surprise, based on the star power on this 2019-20 Los Angeles Lakers team and their hot start, that they are still favorites to win it all. As of this report, Odds Shark lists the Lakers at +275 odds to win the title across several sportsbooks including Bovada. Overall, the site has the Lakers’ odds between +250 and +325 at various sportsbooks.
The Lakers being the favorites makes sense, not only based on the team’s star players and their record but in terms of their overall efficiency on both offense and defense. Per ESPN’s report, they’re the only team to rank in the top five for both categories.
While they’ll have some challenging games along the way, they appear to be the team to beat right now. The two teams who have beaten them so far are the Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Clippers.
That team they share Staples Center with as a home arena is right there with them on the NBA Finals Odds listing. The website currently shows the Los Angeles Clippers at +300 at Bovada, BetNow, and several other sportsbooks.
Many fans are already anticipating that these two teams could meet in the 2020 Western Conference Finals. With Paul George in the lineup to help out fellow All-Star Kawhi Leonard, it could make for an interesting matchup to determine which squad deserves the trip to the NBA finals.