How Lakers can make surprise run to Western Conference Finals again

How the Los Angeles Lakers can make another surprise run to the Western Conference Finals.
Los Angeles Lakers v Washington Wizards
Los Angeles Lakers v Washington Wizards / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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Step 3: Beat the flawed 4-5 matchup winner

Let's say the Los Angeles Lakers are able to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder or Minnesota Timberwolves in a first-round series, which will then put them in a second-round matchup against the LA Clippers or Dallas Mavericks (with how the standings currently look). In any one of those matchups, the Lakers should equally like their chances to pull off another "upset" in the second round. For as good as both the Clippers and Mavericks are on paper, neither one of those teams should instill tremendous fear in LA.

The Clippers are playing some of their worst basketball time and the most inopportune time and while the Mavs are playing better of late, they still have a hollow roster outside of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. The Lakers may not be favored against either of those teams entering the series but could be playing better than both of them since February 1.

After pulling off a first-round upset, the Lakers would've built added momentum to help them in a potential second-round series against the Clippers or Mavericks. It wouldn't be surprising if they managed to beat any of those teams in the conference semifinals.