NBA Power Rankings: Will any team dethrone the Celtics or Nuggets in NBA Playoffs?

As we close the regular season, the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics appear on a collision course for the NBA Finals.
Boston Celtics v Denver Nuggets
Boston Celtics v Denver Nuggets / Brendall O'Banon/Clarkson Creative/GettyImages
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13. Los Angeles Lakers

If the Los Angeles Lakers can manage to avoid the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, it's not entirely insane to think that they could make another surprising run in the Western Conference bracket. However, because they've put themselves in a position where they may not have the opportunity to, there's a very good chance the Lakers are going to be subjected to an early playoff exit. And that will likely lead them to what could end up being a very important offseason for the franchise.

Not only do they have to ensure LeBron James re-signs but they also have to find the right supporting star or difference-maker that will help this team take a step forward in the West hierarchy next season. Under no circumstances can this team elect to "run it back" this offseason. A big move has to be made and if they aren't able to pull one off, it could very much indicate the end of LeBron's championship quest in the NBA.

And if that were to be the case, there would be some much bigger questions to answer by both LeBron and the Lakers.