As the NBA continues to navigate through unchartered waters, there are numerous plans being discussed if/when the 2019-20 season resumes.
With owners and players both willing to play games into August, one idea that has been brought up so far is going straight into the 2020 NBA playoffs.
However, with the league recently asking teams to shut down their practice facilities, there are concerns about injuries considering the months off.
“One thing you can’t just do is go straight to the playoffs,” James said. “Because it discredits the 60-plus games that guys had fighting for that position.”
With the Lakers having the best record in the Western Conference, there are five potential first round matchups, but James focused in on one team:
“Listen, Dame Lillard in an eighth seed, that’s challenging,” he said. “… You got Dame Lillard who could go for 50 [points]; C.J. McCollum, who could go for 40; a Carmelo Anthony that, if he gets hot — which we know [he can] — in the postseason could go for 35-40 as well. … When you have that type of experience with Portland, they can make things happen.”
As it currently stands, the Memphis Grizzlies would be their first round matchup. However, they have the most challenging schedule with the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, and San Antonio Spurs all within four games with about 20 games remaining.
Out of those teams, James is accurate about the Blazers. While they have struggled so far, the talent is there and they could click at the right time.
Although it is unclear if the season will resume, the hope is James and the Lakers will have an opportunity to make a 2020 NBA Finals run soon.