Brian Windhorst says LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry ‘smell weakness’ in Western Conference

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers are still fighting for their postseason lives, but if they manage to advance past the regular season, it sounds like superstar LeBron James likes his team’s chances.

According to NBA insider Brian Windhorst, the four-time champion — along with other superstars like Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant — “smell weakness” in the Western Conference.

“LeBron’s coming back on a bad foot because he smells weakness,” Windhorst said.

When James went down with his foot injury earlier this season, some believed he’d only come back if he felt as though the Lakers had a chance to compete for a title. Despite the fact that the Lakers have struggled to string wins together, James’ recent return indicates that he must feel good about his team’s chances.

After all, the three teams at the top of the West — the Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings — have little to no deep playoff experience. There are doubts regarding how far any of those teams can really go.

With that in mind, the Lakers still have to get to the postseason to take advantage of this perceived weakness. They currently sit at the No. 9 seed in the West and are just a half-game up from the No. 11-seeded Dallas Mavericks. On the flip side of that, they are also just 1.5 games back from the No. 7 seed Minnesota Timberwolves.

If James is really serious about contending for a title this year and taking advantage of a weak conference, every game from here on out should be considered a must-win.

L.A. has seven games left on its 2022-23 regular season schedule, and four of those games are against teams currently projected to either be in the playoffs or play-in tournament.

The first game against a team currently projected to advance to the postseason will come on Wednesday against the Chicago Bulls, the No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Lakers lost to the Bulls over the weekend, 118-108, and missed out on the chance to own a record over .500 for the first time all season. They’ll look to get back to .500 against the Bulls in Chicago on Wednesday night.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.