Jazz grizzlies mavs and pelicans are not that better than the Lakers
Jazz - Loss George Hill and Gordon Hayward. There key players are now Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors. They play team basketball but certainly lost two key starters whom were a key part to their offense.
(Therefore, I agree that the Lakers may potentially end up with a better record then them)
Mavericks - With a core of DSJ, Wes Matthews, Harrison Barnes, Dirk, and Noel, I can see them doing quite well.
(Talent wise and experience wise, I give them the advantage over us)
Pelicans - Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins are better than any combination of players currently on our roster. Together they may have issues as they didn't seem to find a rhythm with one another last year.
(Regardless, that team alongside Jrue Holiday is still very solid, I give them the edge over us as well)
Grizzlies - Loss ZBo but Conley, Marc, and a healthy Parsons is still decent, I see them falling off but not sure how far.
(Tough call on this one)
Overall, while the West did get stronger, there are still a handful of middle of the pack teams that loss key contributors thus making the bottom 3 seeds a very tough call. I don't think the Lakers have a good shot at the playoffs, but It's certainly not impossible.