Roundtable: Lakers face daunting playoff scenario; are Nets a lock for the Finals?

LeBron James isn’t expected to return to the lineup until the end of April after suffering a high right ankle sprain. Anthony Davis could return next week after missing time with a calf strain. In the meantime, the Lakers have been falling in the Western Conference.

The Lakers have consistently been tabbed as the favorite to win the NBA title. But they have gone 4-5 without James and Davis and have dropped to No. 5 in the West. It’s not inconceivable that they could fall to the No. 7 seed and be forced to participate in a play-in game to advance into the postseason.

What would such a scenario mean for the Lakers?

That’s just one of many questions we have about the NBA. With news that James Harden suffered a hamstring strain and will miss at least 10 days, what does that mean for the Nets’ championship prospects?

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This week’s NBA roundtable tackled those questions and more. USA TODAY Sports’ Larry Starks moderated the discussion with a panel of NBA experts from around the USA TODAY Network: Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY Sports, Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Evan Barnes of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Berry Tramel of the Oklahoma City Oklahoman and Chris Iseman of the Bergen County Record.

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