LA Lakers Star Makes Bold NBA Prediction

LA Lakers star Dwight Howard has confidently predicted that it will be his side in the NBA Finals this year, squaring off against the Toronto Raptors.

Howard, who started his career with Orlando Magic, made his prediction in a vlog posted by Raptors rookie Oshae Brissett recently, making it clear which two teams he believes will be competing in the Finals. “It’s gonna be Toronto and the Lakers in the Finals,” said the eight-time NBA All-Star, as reported by The Score.

That would pit his current side against the defending champions, with Toronto having defeated Golden State Warriors 4-2 in the Finals last time out. The Lakers lead the Western Conference at present, but the Eastern Conference is much tighter, with three teams looking like possible Finals material.

The Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks are both fancied for the Finals as well, with Miami Heat also pushing the reigning champions all the way. After a disappointing 2019, the Lakers will not mind which team waits for them in the Finals, as long as they ensure they get there this time out.

The Lakers are one of the most successful NBA sides of all time. In their infographic on the most successful franchises in US sports, Bwin notes that the Lakers are only one win behind the Boston Celtics in terms of their history. The Celtics have lost more Finals, making them the most successful franchise in the NBA, with the Golden State Warriors third and six-time winners Chicago Bulls in fourth. The Warriors have appeared in the last five consecutive Finals, facing off against Cleveland Cavaliers in four of those.

If the Lakers and Raptors do meet in the Finals, then Howard and his teammates will have to be much better than in their recent meeting, which did not quite turn out as planned. The Lakers found themselves on the wrong end of the result, going down 107-92. They lost the game in the final quarter, getting outscored 35-22 despite Howard contributing five points and five rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench.

Kyle Lowry grabbed 33 points for Toronto, 14 rebounds and six assists in the encounter at The Arena, sounding a warning to the rest of the roster. Lowry hit 5-of-9 three-pointers, as well as 8-of-16 shots from the floor whilst Pascal Siakam contributed 15 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors. In response, LeBron James led for the Lakers with 20 points and 10 boards whilst Kyle Kuzma chipped in 16 points and Anthony Davis 14 points. Despite that, the defeat severely dented the hopes of the Lakers, who have not appeared in an NBA Finals since beating Boston Celtics in 2010.

The Raptors win was their 11th in succession against the Lakers, a team they have not lost against since November 2014. With a record like that, perhaps Lakers’ fans will be hoping Howard is wide of the mark with his recent comments, otherwise their long wait for NBA success might just continue.

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