LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers’ path to a 17th championship looks awfully perilous from the outset. That's not just because the Western Conference’s top seeds have struggled in the bubble. Damian Lillard by himself is enough to make any team worry about its postseason prospects. Yet the bubble MVP is just one challenge looming before the Lakers. The Lakers’ dubious reward for perseverance in an extraordinarily challenging and particularly tragic season is no prize at all. They must begin their quest against the streaking Trail Blazers and Lillard, who has lit up the Lakers and just about everybody else for years.

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