Chris Mannix: LeBron James, Lakers are going to the NBA Finals this year

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated spent his formative years in the greater Boston area and is known as a writer who has been close to the Boston Celtics.

Indeed, he spent eight seasons as an attendant for the Celtics before starting his journalism career with the Boston Globe.

But Mannix penned a column that is sure to be music to the ears of Los Angeles Lakers fans.

After the Lakers defeated the Chicago Bulls, 121-110, on Wednesday, Mannix opined that they will be in the NBA Finals this summer.

Not can — will.

Via Sports Illustrated:

“Mark your calendars, people,” wrote Mannix. “Make travel plans the first week in June. Pack your sunscreen, get your Disneyland tickets and save a few extra bucks for the outrageous California gas prices.

“The Lakers are going to the NBA Finals.”

He cited the (mostly) outstanding play of Anthony Davis, the emergence of Austin Reaves and the return of LeBron James. But that wasn’t all.

Mannix admitted that L.A. now has the type of depth it hasn’t had in a couple of years.

“Watch [D’Angelo] Russell, Rui Hachimura, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley, the players L.A. acquired before the trade deadline. Hachimura has been a solid rotation player. Russell is shooting nearly 40% from three-point range. Vanderbilt has brought a Dennis Rodman–like energy (and rebounding skills) to the starting lineup. Beasley’s three-point shot has been erratic, but he is a proven deep threat.”

The writer also pointed out the immense parity throughout the Western Conference and the fact that no one in the conference — with the possible exception of the Phoenix Suns, if they can stay healthy — would be an iron-clad lock to beat L.A. in the playoffs.

Still skeptical? Check out this video of Mannix outlining why, in his view, the Lakers will be in this year’s championship series to Colin Cowherd.

Buckle up, ladies and gentlemen. The playoffs, as well as the rest of the regular season, should be a rollercoaster ride.

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Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire