The Lakers will officially have a losing season. After losing to the Philadelphia 76ers, the Lakers will end the season under .500 with only 9 games remaining.
Though it may be a disappointing season, there is still one last chance for the Lakers to make the playoffs and make a stand thanks to the play-in tournament.
Even if the Lakers finish 9th or 10th in the standings this year, there is still a slim chance for them to make the playoffs if they make it through the play-in tournament. Introduced last year, this play-in gave the teams that finished ninth and 10th in the final regular season standings in each conference an opportunity to qualify for postseason play.
With how the standings are looking now, they will most likely play the New Orleans Pelicans in the 9 vs 10 game. The 9th seed will play as the home team. That’s why it’s huge if the Lakers can clinch the 9th seed and get home court for the initial play-in game. Tomorrow’s game against the Pelicans will have huge implications as whoever wins the game wins the tiebreaker for the year.
If the Lakers win the 9 vs 10 game they will then play the loser of the 7 vs 8 game, and whoever wins will clinch the 8th seed for the playoffs. As of now the 7th seed are the Minnesota Timberwolves and the 6th seed are the Los Angeles Clippers. The Lakers will likely play the Clippers given that Minnesota uses that homecourt advantage to get the 7th seed. What a battle that would be if we have a battle of Los Angeles for the last playoff spot.
Whoever clinches the 8th seed will face the Phoenix Suns, who have the best record in the league. A tough challenge, but one that the Lakers would be willing to fight for.
The season has been very underwhelming for the Purple and Gold, but all hope is not lost. There is a small chance that the Lakers can make the playoffs but it’s better than having no chance.
In these last couple weeks, the Lakers need all the support they can get for the fans. Laker nation should not give up on their team as you never know what could happen, especially with Anthony Davis hopefully healthy and set to return.
Featured Image: Andrew Bernstein/nba.com