Analyst: Lakers match up well with top West teams other than the Nuggets

With roughly a month left in the regular season, the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in a similar situation compared to where they were a year ago.

Late last season, they made a surge during the last six weeks of the schedule, which led plenty of experts to say they had instantly become championship contenders. That surge took place after two midseason trades brought them Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell and Jarred Vanderbilt.

This year, L.A. made no trades, but it has won 15 of its last 23 games. While some feel it won’t make the playoffs, some think the team could do some real damage in the postseason.

Justin Termine of Sirius XM NBA Radio said that other than the defending world champion Denver Nuggets, the Lakers match up well with the top teams in the Western Conference (h/t The Cold Wire).

“I don’t see the Lakers winning the title, but outside of Denver, they really match up well against the top of the West. … Outside of the Nuggets, you look at the other top four seeds, OKC (Oklahoma City Thunder), the [Los Angeles] Clippers, Minnesota, the Lakers kind of match up pretty well against almost all of them.”

The Lakers currently hold ninth place in the West with a 34-29 record, and they’re in the middle of a critical stretch in which they’re playing a number of West teams that are ahead of them in the standings.

Termine pointed out how they won the season series 3-1 over both the Clippers and Thunder. He also said that although they have lost both of their games thus far to the Minnesota Timberwolves, both losses were close, and Minnesota is less experienced than them.

Over the next eight days, L.A. has two games versus the Sacramento Kings, who are in seventh place and 1.5 games ahead of it. Given how bunched up teams are from fifth to 10th place, LeBron James and company could very well find themselves in sixth place before the end of this month.

If that happens, perhaps another trip to the Western Conference Finals wouldn’t be out of the question.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire