The Los Angeles Lakers will seemingly have to spend the entirety of the 2019-20 NBA season convincing people they’re better than the Los Angeles Clippers as prevailing opinion holds the latter are simply the best team in basketball.
And now, the NBA’s annual GM Survey says they may have to prove they’re better than the Milwaukee Bucks as well.
The Lakers, Bucks, and Clippers are all teams with serious championship aspirations this season, all taking completely different paths to get there.
The Bucks are — for the most part — running it back from last season’s team that lost to Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Lakers took LeBron James and added Anthony Davis via trade. The Clippers added two new All-Star players to the fold in Leonard via free agency and George via a massive trade.
After all of these moves, NBA general managers believe the Clippers are the most likely team to win the 2020 NBA Finals, according to John Schuhmann of NBA.com:
Which team will win the 2020 NBA Finals?
1. LA Clippers — 46%
2. Milwaukee Bucks — 36%
3. Los Angeles Lakers — 11%
Also receiving votes: Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers
Last year: Golden State – 87%
The Clippers and Bucks look to be well ahead of the pack from their perspective, which of course is just more ammunition for the Lakers to use.
The Clippers, in an NBA entirely populated by All-Star duos, have somehow been deemed as the best team by a long shot. And while there is an argument to be made they have the strongest roster, the degree to which it’s been said is absurd.
The Lakers are unlikely to sit idly by while the Clippers are hoisted up as the championship favorites in every survey, ranking, and oddsmaker that exists in the NBA.
The Lakers and Clippers will — for the first time — have a legitimate rivalry and all eyes will be on who can perform better when the time comes beginning on Opening Night.