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How Are the Lakers Faring Without Bryant?

The NBA betting odds have been pretty harsh on the Los Angeles Lakers the last couple of years, but for good reason. Under Byron Scott’s guidance, the Lakers have finished last in their division for the last 5 consecutive years. Obviously that’s not a good streak and the franchise had no other choice but to pursue other options for the head coaching position. Last year would mark the last season that Byron Scott would coach Los Angeles, and it also marked the last season that Kobe Bryant would play in the NBA. Of those two only one is a legend and the loss of a legend is much harder to compensate than the loss of a mediocre coach. With a new head coach, how are the Lakers faring in their first season without Kobe Bryant?

From what we’ve seen so far this season, surprisingly enough, the Lakers are actually exceeding the expectations of many betting lines. The NBA betting odds haven’t exactly been siding with the Lakers, but considering how impressive Los Angeles has been, they might just have to. Very few people expected the Lakers to transition so smoothly into a new era, but at 7-5 it’s hard to not be dazzled by what Los Angeles has been doing. To put things into perspective, last year the Lakers didn’t with their sixth game of the season until December 30th. Needless to say, the Lakers are having a pretty good turnaround season. But because we’ve only seen such a small sample size, one has to wonder; how long will the Lakers be able to keep this success going?

The Lakers should be able to enjoy their success for the rest of the season, but fans shouldn’t hold their breath in anticipation of a Los Angeles playoff finish. Even though Luke Walton has brought back a tremendous amount of energy and excitement into Los Angeles’ organization, it’s doubtful that it will be enough to guarantee the Lakers a spot in the postseason. Playoff aspirations may be a little farfetched, but later this week Los Angeles will have a chance to prove that they are capable of winning without Kobe Bryant.

This Friday night, the Lakers will be welcoming the San Antonio Spurs to the Golden State to face off at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. Behind the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the NBA betting odds paint the Spurs as the favorites to win this year’s NBA title. Interestingly enough, San Antonio is also contending with a loss of a legend, Tim Duncan. The Spurs have been doing a great job transitioning into the Duncan-less era after Duncan had been the face of the franchise for nearly 20 years. This Friday night, one of these teams will prove to the other that they don’t need their now retired legends.