The Los Angeles Lakers playoff push starts right now. The Lakers sit in the 10th seed in the Western Conference but are only 2 games behind from the 8th seed. The Lakers have 25 games left and it took 47 wins for the 8th seed in the West last year.
The Los Angeles Lakers must go 19-6 throughout the second half of the season. The teams in front of them, Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento Kings have played well enough to be playoff teams this season. The Lakers were the 4th seed when they beat the back to back defending champs on Christmas day. LeBron James groin injury set the Lakers back along with injuries to Rajon Rondo, Kyle Kuzma, and Lonzo Ball. Since LeBron James has returned, the Lakers are 2-3 with huge losses to the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks. The Lakers have put themselves in a tough position in order to make the playoffs.
The Lakers have the 9th toughest schedule remaining with two games against the Bucks, along with games against the Rockets, Warriors, Thunder, and Blazers. The Lakers will have to upset some of these teams in order to reach the 47 wins needed for a an 8th seed. The All Star break came at the perfect time for this Laker team to regroup and get healthy. Kyle Kuzma won the Rising Stars MVP scoring 35 points on 55% shooting percentage. Lonzo Ball was forced to skip the Rising Stars game due to a sprained ankle that he suffered in 3rd quarter against the Houston Rockets. Lonzo Ball should be back early March and he will be pivotal to the Lakers Playoff hopes.
The one thing that Laker fans can be optimistic about is LeBron James play after All Star breaks. Last year LeBron James raised his game significantly after the All Star break. He averaged 26.5 ppg, 8.9 apg, 8.1 rpg before the break and after he averaged 29.4 ppg, 9.5 apg, 9.8 rpg. LeBron carried the Cavaliers to 50 wins and home court advantage for first round of the playoffs.
LeBron James has done more with less in his career, but this is a different challenge and we all expect him to play at an MVP level the rest of the season and carry the Lakers into the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
Featured Image: Raheel MEMON via www.flickr.com