Will LeBron James’ consecutive NBA Finals streak end this season?

lebron james

When LeBron James traded Cleveland Cavaliers reds and yellow for Los Angeles Lakers gold and purple, he moved to the NBA’s most difficult conference. The Western Conference is completely unforgiving and boasts the NBA’s best talent in terms of the two conferences. Last season, James’ Cavs didn’t start well, but still made the playoffs as a No. 4 seed. The team’s regular season success was due to James as he powered the Cavs into the playoffs.

Thanks to the Eastern Conference’s quality, the Cavs were able to overcome their deficiencies to not only make the postseason, but to make the NBA Finals. In Los Angeles, James is in the playoff fight of his life. “King James” has been injured for large parts of the season and the Lakers are outside of the NBA Western Conference’s playoff places.
There are just two months left in the NBA season and the Lakers must win games if they are to make the playoffs. If they can make the postseason, James will have the opportunity to get his team into the NBA Finals, a series he has reached in each of the last eight NBA seasons.

Eight straight NBA Finals

James has reached the NBA Finals in eight straight seasons. It is an incredible feat that few other NBA players have accomplished. The NBA star first made the Finals in 2011 with the Miami Heat. Although the Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks, James and company rebounded to win the Finals the next two seasons. After losing the 2014 NBA Finals to the San Antonio Spurs, James returned to Cleveland. There, he led the Cavs to four straight Finals, winning three of them.

The guard’s problem this season isn’t the fact that the Lakers are any worse than last season’s Cavs. The problem is the Western Conference is far more difficult than the East. The Golden State Warriors, winners of three of the last four NBA Championships, play in the Western Conference. Any team planning to reach the Finals will have to go through Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry. While this could be the last season the duo is together and the Golden State dynasty exists, the Warriors are still the best team in the NBA.

Can the Lakers even make the NBA Playoffs?

James’ consecutive NBA Finals appearances record isn’t the biggest issue concerning the Lakers. There are numerous question marks surrounding whether or not the team will even make the NBA Playoffs.

The Lakers’ recent win over rivals the Houston Rockets put them at .500 with a record of 29-29. The most importance lesson NBA observers have learned over the last decade-plus is to never count out James. He has led his teams to 13 NBA Playoff appearances in a row.
James will need to put the Lakers on his back for the next seven weeks to get them into the postseason. With injuries affecting the team, and James having dealt with his own problems already this year, Los Angeles’ time may come next season.

If the Lakers can get healthier, they could make the postseason. They may be able to qualify for the playoffs, but theoretically, the Lakers would play the superior Warriors in the first round as a No. 8 seed. Even if James reaches the playoffs, his NBA Finals streak will be broken. Next season, with some personnel moves and new coach, the Lakers will make their assault on the NBA Playoffs and the NBA Finals.