Skip Bayless makes bold prediction about Lakers meeting Suns in Western Conference Finals

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Fox Sports analyst Skip Bayless predicted that the Los Angeles Lakers will make the Western Conference Finals this season and take on the Phoenix Suns.

Bayless doesn’t think Los Angeles will beat Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Devin Booker and company, but he does think LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers will take the series to seven games.

That would be quite the series if Bayless’ prediction comes true, and it appears the analyst is expecting the Lakers to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves in the play-in tournament on Tuesday night.

The Lakers and Wolves are playing for the No. 7 seed in the West and the right to play the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs.

The only way for the Lakers to eventually match up with the Suns in the Western Conference Finals is if they beat the Wolves tomorrow. If not, Los Angeles would play for the No. 8 seed, meaning it would face the Denver Nuggets in the first round if it won.

The Suns, who are the No. 4 seed, would face the winner of the No. 1 vs. No. 8 matchup in the second round, not the Western Conference Finals, if they get past the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Lakers are in a good spot to beat the Wolves, as Rudy Gobert (suspension) and Jaden McDaniels (fractured hand) both won’t play on Tuesday night for Minnesota.

Back in the 2020-21 season, the Lakers faced the Suns in the first round of the playoffs, losing to Phoenix in six games. The Suns went on to the NBA Finals, but they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo in that series.

Now with Durant in the fold, Phoenix is hoping to capture a title this season. In the eight games that Durant has played for Phoenix, the team is a perfect 8-0.

While Bayless’ prediction hinges on the result of Tuesday’s play-in game, NBA fans have to be excited about the potential matchup that could come between Durant and James. The two stars have not played against each other since Christmas Day in 2018.

The Western Conference Finals would be a great place for James and Durant to renew their rivalry.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.