Shannon Sharpe guarantees Lakers will make Western Conference Finals ‘at least’

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, Shannon Sharpe of “First Take” boldly claimed that the Los Angeles Lakers will make it to the Western Conference Finals for a second season in a row.

“I guarantee you…we get at least to the Western Conference Finals,” Sharpe said.

To Sharpe’s credit, the Lakers had a slow start to the 2022-23 regular season as well and went on to reach the Western Conference Finals. Los Angeles started the campaign with a 2-10 record but played great basketball at the tail end of the regular season and carried over its momentum into the first couple of rounds of the playoffs.

The Lakers won two playoff series against a pair of formidable opponents. In the first round, the Lakers beat the Memphis Grizzlies, who were the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, in six games.

Then, in the second round, Los Angeles eliminated the Golden State Warriors in six games. The Warriors were the reigning NBA champions at the time, as they beat the Boston Celtics in the 2022 NBA Finals.

The Lakers’ improbable playoff run came to an end against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. Denver swept Los Angeles before sending the Miami Heat home in five games in the championship series to secure the 2023 NBA title.

Fast forward to the current day, and the Lakers’ record indicates that they might miss out on a top-six record in the Western Conference once again. They sit as the No. 9 seed in the conference right now with a 28-26 record and are three games behind the Dallas Mavericks — who are winners of their last five games — for the No. 8 seed.

Los Angeles has seemingly been trending in a positive direction lately, however. The Lakers own a 6-4 record over their last 10 games and beat the New Orleans Pelicans at home in their most recent game on Feb. 9.

The team will have a great shot at earning its second win in a row when it hosts the lowly Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.