IT SEEMS like the odds are out for the new look Los Angeles Lakers to win a projected 48-49 games this coming season, a marked increase from their 35-win output in the 2017-2018 season.

Of course, we all know it’s not because of Rajon Rondo or Lance Stephenson or because Lonzo Ball is projected to grow superpowers.

It’s because the best player on the planet decided he wanted to become a Laker.

LEBRON. The odds are spot on mind you. In the 2014-2015 season, when Lebron James came back to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, he bettered their output by 20 games.

The playoffs? You bet they will make it.

There are probably seven or eight teams in the West that most people would rank instantly higher than the Lakers: Warriors, Rockets, Thunder, Spurs, Trailblazers, Jazz, Timberwolves and the Pelicans.

However, I believe the Lakers would fit right in the lower tranche of these upper echelon teams in the Western conference. The Jazz are still trying to find their way, and the Timberwolves looked out of sync last season. The Pelicans are inconsistent and the Blazers have been historically bad when playing against James.

Remember that Lebron James has not missed an NBA Finals for the past 8 years, doing so in 2 different teams.

Apparently, regardless of which team he plays in, it has become a birthright of sorts for this guy to make to the NBA Finals.

Mind you, am not really a big Lebron James fan, but you have to give him the props he deserves.

SHOOTING. Remember that James managed to drag to the Finals a motley crew of Cavaliers players assembled barely two months prior.

With Rondo he will have another playmaker with an extremely high basketball IQ. Lance Stephenson can provide quality minutes and I have no doubt that James will find a way to bring out the best in rising stars like Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram.

Three-point shooting though will be sore spot for these Lakers though as they don’t seem to have the outside firepower to compete with powerhouses like the Warriors and the Rockets.

Still, I won’t count them out, not with James at the helm to inspire his teammates I for one, am curious what will happen if James gives up the playmaking duties in favor of Rondo or Ball and decides to drive more to the basket where he has practically been unstoppable last season.