NBA analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson discussed the start of the 2017-18 NBA season in a media conference call with ESPN’s Gianina Thompson
Q: How realistic is it for the Lakers to not end up in one of the lottery positions this year?
JACKSON: Looking at the Lakers, to me it’s about defending, competing and their habits. I think after you get through the first five, six teams in the Western Conference, the other two or three teams that make the Playoffs will be the hardest working ones, the best defending ones and the ones that compete on a nightly basis. That could be between four or five teams that have a legitimate chance, and I think that it’s up for grabs. It’s how bad do you want it rather than saying you want it. I thought it was awfully impressive. I think ultimately they will play Kuzma and Ingram together in a smaller lineup because it gives them versatility, scoring power, and play-making ability.
VAN GUNDY: I think the Lakers have made a lot of good moves. I think Lonzo Ball is going to live up to all the hype. I think he’s going to have an outstanding year. I still don’t see them as a playoff team just because the West, there’s going to be good teams that don’t make the Playoffs.