With the Pau Gasol trade and Andrew Bynum showing flashes of dominance before he got hurt, anything less then the top seed in the Western Conference would be a let down right?
Wrong. In fact, it wouldn’t be that bad at all.
It would be the perfect slot for a championship team.
Looking back at the last five champions, (Spurs, Heat, Spurs, Pistons, and Spurs again) none were the first seed in their conference.
06-07 San Antonio Spurs NBA Champions
05-06 Miami Heat NBA Champions
04-05 San Antonio Spurs NBA Champions
03-04 Detroit Pistons NBA Champions
1. z-Indiana 61 21 .744
2. y-New Jersey 47 35 . 573 14.0
3. x-Detroit 54 28 . 659 7.0
4. x-Miami 42 40 . 512 5.0
5. x-New Orleans 41 41 .500 20.0
6. x-Milwaukee 41 41 .500 20.0
7. x-New York 39 43 .476 22.0
8. x-Boston 25.0 36 46 .439 25.0
Also, if teams are a No. 1 seed, there will most likely face the most dangerous and hungry of all the teams that made the cut. I.e. Golden State or Denver.
Everyone knows about the firepower and explosiveness behind those two ball clubs and how any one of them can bring down the house on any given night.
Next you have to think about the future.
Teams with a lower record get the higher the draft pick.
And with Lamar Odom leaving soon, this would be the perfect time for the Lakers to draft a SF/PF and groom him for a year.
Chris Douglas-Roberts maybe available and would definitely appeal to Kobe and the Lakers with his overall athleticism and versatility.
Currently the Lakers are in the third seed in the Western Conference, and I believe that not having the top seed in the West is the best position for them based on the numbers and reasons above.