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Why the Lakers Championship Odds Have Remained Near the Top

Despite being at the bottom of the pile with their win-loss record and looking like a lost team for the entire 2012-2013 season, the Los Angeles Lakers have always remained close to the top of the Championship odds.

Why did the sports book not give up on the Lakers everyone else seemingly had?

The Lakers were failing hard this season.  Kobe Bryant seemed to be the only saving grace on the team as he was putting up 20-30 point games on his every outing.  Despite this effort, the Lakers still found themselves on the losing end of a lot of games.  Dwight Howard would complain after every game about not getting to touch the ball.  Steve Nash would solemnly say things like “we need to fix this.” Pau Gasol seemed to be simply wandering around the court with no motivation after coach Mike D’Antoni benched him. Then their was the rest of the atrocious Lakers bench, whose star, Metta World Peace, seemed to only show up with any game once every couple of nights.

Things looked really bad for the purple and gold, but the book keepers always kept the Lakers at the forefront of the pack for one simple reason:  Potential.If you can recall, imagine all of our excitement when the Lakers picked up Steve Nash and then Dwight Howard.  There were some with more realistic perspectives on the new Lakers team.  Most of us, however, expected this team to come out of the gate in an explosion and begin to dominate the NBA.  We did not account for a couple of things, though.

What it boils down to is we did not account for the way each of these players was accustomed to playing.  Bryant, Howard, Nash and Gasol were going to play how they were used to playing at first.  Call it ego, call it the team needing to learn cohesion, simply call it whatever you want, this team needed time to learn to play together as a unit.

There was little doubt in anyone’s mind that the Lakers would make the playoffs.  We all knew they were playing terribly but they would some how get by with a record just good enough for the playoffs.  This is why they remained so high on the list of teams with the best odds to win the NBA Championship.

Bovada’s future odds placed the Lakers with 14/1 odds to win it all.  They were put ahead of teams like the Chicago Bulls, Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors despite dropping games to these teams.

The Lakers now seem to be on the verge of a come back after seemingly finding an on court strategy that utilizes all the talent on their roster, including their bench.  They have won three games in a row, including one against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who currently have the second best win-loss record in the NBA. This is the potential that the book keepers have been expecting.

I am still cautiously optimistic about the Lakers, however.  You can come back and ask for my opinion after they have played ten solid games.  No one has ever denied their potential, though.

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