Few teams, if any, have more to gain from the return of the 2019-2020 NBA season than the Los Angeles Lakers. With an aging superstar and the best record in the Western Conference, the time is now for L.A. to try and win a championship. 

The Lakers sit atop the West standings with a 49-14 record. Their 5.5-game lead over the No.2 Los Angeles Clippers was a very comfortable one before the season was suspended on March 13 when Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Now that the regular season will likely be shortened, the Lakers’ six-game edge in the loss column could become insurmountable.

With +270 odds to win the title at FanDuel Sportsbook, the Lakers are the betting favorites in the conference. They are ahead of the Clippers, who are second in the West with +340 odds to win their first-ever championship.

The Milwaukee Bucks lead the NBA with a 53-12 record and +240 odds to win the 2020 NBA Finals.

Shortly before the season was put on hold, the Lakers defeated the Bucks and Clippers in consecutive games. The two teams had previously gone 3-0 against the Lakers this season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is expected to win his second straight MVP award, but LeBron James hasn’t made the race easy for him. In his second season with Los Angeles, the four-time MVP is back to performing like the best player in basketball.

James is averaging 25.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 10.6 assists per game. He’s arguably playing his best defense since he was a member of the Miami Heat.

James and Anthony Davis have proven to be the league’s best duo. Davis is the favorite to win the Defensive Player of the Year award. He’s averaging 26.7 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.4 blocks and 1.5 steals per game.

Before the Lakers missed last year’s playoffs, James reached the NBA Finals in eight straight seasons. 

The No.1 team in Los Angeles is set to face the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs, based on the current standings. Home-court advantage is expected to be nonexistent in the postseason with games played at neutral sites without fans.

Anthony Davis LeBron James Lakers LeBron James #23 is congratulated by Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers after scoring a basket against Memphis Grizzlies during the second half at Staples Center on October 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images