The Western Conference playoff race is tight as hell and it can be a massive headache working out the playoff implications of the remaining regular season games.
So we’ve done the hard work for you. Here’s where things stand for the Lakers:
The Lakers can’t fall any lower than 10th, meaning at the very least they will make the play-in.
A 10th-placed finish would mean they’d have to win two sudden-death play-in games in order to make the playoffs.
BEST CASE SCENARIO
The Lakers can still finish as high as fifth.
They would need to win their remaining games, the Clippers would need to lose their remaining games, and the Warriors would need to lose at least one of their remaining games.
Considering how tight everything is, tiebreakers could very well come into play, which we have detailed below:
LAKERS OWN THE TIEBREAKER OVER:
Warriors, Pelicans, Thunder
OPPONENT OWNS TIEBREAKER OVER LAKERS:
Clippers, Timberwolves, Mavericks
LeBron James Speaks on Lakers’ Loss to Clippers
LeBron James says the Lakers’ tough schedule played a major part in their 118-125 loss to the Clippers.
The Lakers are coming off a five-game road trip which ended with a back-to-back.
“It’s tough. It’s one of the toughest games we’ve had this year,” James said. ” … This was one of those scheduling conflicts in the season. And it definitely got the best of us tonight.”
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LeBron also addressed how the Lakers feel about which seed they finish with.
“Wherever we end up, that’s where we end up,” he said. “It’s been like four or five seasons in one for us. We don’t have the luxury of (picking and choosing). … Wherever we fall, we’ll be ready to go.”
Lakers head coach Darvin Ham also spoke to the media and addressed his decision to play James and Anthony Davis 35 and 32 minutes respectively, compared with Kawhi Leonard’s 43.
“We did what we had to do to give ourselves a chance to win not only tonight, but to keep our players in good standing health-wise moving forward,” Ham said.
The Lakers will now round out the regular season with home games against the Suns and Jazz.
They are currently seventh in the West. At 41-39, they have the same record as the eighth-placed Pelicans and sit one game behind the sixth-placed Warriors.