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I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Tonight is the Lakers’ final game of the season. And while there is a lot to discuss about how this season went compared to expectations and what we wanted, there will be plenty of time for all of that. The postmortem on this season will take some time write and to digest, and this is neither the time nor the format.

What I will say is, that whatever this season was for you and whether you enjoyed it or not, it’s now basically over. There will be no more Lakers games to cheer for or scream at, to be happy about or disappointed in. The playoffs will start soon and that offers it’s own level of excitement and intrigue for basketball fans, but having the Lakers missing from the 2nd season for the 4th straight year (even though that was to be expected before the season), is just another reminder of the growth and improvement still needed. Again, though, this is another topic for another day.

The Lakers are looking to close their season on a winning note, though. Winners of 5 straight, the team is playing with and for each other for longer stretches. They’re making winning plays down the stretch on both ends of the floor. And while it’s easy to point to the flukiness of this part of the year or the specific motives of the opponents in each contest, I like that the Lakers are not only playing well enough to win, but doing those extra things needed to close out games. Whether this impacts them in May’s lottery remains to be seen, but I’m going to enjoy this stretch anyway.

Lastly, thanks to all of you who visit the site every day and read what we do here. This site is nearly 13 years old and I’ve been running it since the team’s run to the championship in 2010 (while being a contributor for years before that). This site means something to me and being able to do this and have folks join me every day, be it by reading our analysis or jumping into the comments section, is special. So, again, thank you for being a part of that.

Now, enjoy tonight’s game as best you can. And since the team is locked into “3rd”, why not cheer them on to end the season with six straight W’s.

Where you can watch: 7:30pm start time on Spectrum Sportsnet.

Game 81. The team’s final home game of the season. Winners of 4 straight, playing a Pelicans team that will sit DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis. They will be without D’Angelo Russell on their own end, who is in Louisville with family to mourn the death of his grandmother and tend to family issues two days after hitting a game winning 3 pointer on the day he found out of her passing.

If, like me, you thought the end of the Lakers’ season was just going to be a waltz towards the lottery….man. Not so much.

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In this episode of the Laker Film Room Podcast, Pete and I dive into the Lakers 4 game win streak, how they team is pulling off theses W’s, what (if any) staying power this improved play has from an individual and team perspective, and whether these extra wins are worth the 8.9% shift in lottery odds.

We also get into some listener questions, including D’Angelo Russell’s perception in the media, Zubac’s potential as a starting C, and much more. We had some fun in this one, so I hope you enjoy it. Click through to listen below to listen.

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The day I can’t be excited about the Lakers winning a game on a buzzer beater is the day I no longer want to be fan.

There’s been a lot of debate about the Lakers winning games lately. D’Angelo Russell’s shot in the clip above gave the Lakers their 4th straight win in this final stretch of the season. That’s not just the team’s longest win streak this year, it’s their longest winning streak in 4 years. Think about that. This team has been so bad they haven’t been able to win this many games in a row since the season Kobe tore his achilles. Now they’re winning and I’m supposed to…be mad? Nah.

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For the 3rd time in a little over two weeks the Lakers play the Timberwolves. The first of those three, the Lakers won in overtime in Los Angeles. In the 2nd, the team lost on the road by 15 after having to venture east for a 1-game road trip. Who wins the rubber match tonight? I know you’re super intrigued!

Or maybe you’re not. But with the Lakers pretty much locked into the 3rd worst record in the league, you might as well root for these guys to keep up their winning ways! (I’m only partially kidding. The tank wars have had fans up in arms recently with the W over the Kings on the same night the Suns actually won a game over the Thunder nearly causing riots. I’m of a different mindset, but to each their own.)

Anyways, the Lakers have actually won 3 in a row and have gone .500 over their last 8 games. A stretch that started with the aforementioned win over the Wolves. If the Lakers were to actually win tonight to get to 4 in a row, it would be their longest streak of the season, besting their (lone) 3-game streak to get them to 4-3 for the year.

I’d make a joke here, but in all honesty I’m happy to see this young group find ways to play well enough to win and then actually make plays to get them home. I know these things don’t exist in a vacuum, but in a vacuum, guys like Russell and Randle and Ingram getting this type of experience where they are the main reasons for the team winning. I get some people don’t see it this way, but I believe them learning what it takes to get wins actually matters and is a step beyond simply playing well.

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To many of their fans’ dismay, the Lakers have won 3 straight games. The most recent came on Friday night, pulling out a close game on the stellar play of Julius Randle and key shot making by D’Angelo Russell. Randle’s 25 points paced the team and while his 6 rebounds were below his regular output, 5 of those came on the offensive glass where he created second chance points which were key to the win.

As for Russell, he only shot 4-10 from the field for his 14 points, but he hit both of his 4th quarter shots and scored 7 points in the final period. Both shots were big ones, the first a three pointer with the team trailing by 1 with under three minutes to go. In a back and forth affair that was ready to be taken by whichever team clamped down or hit the key shots, Russell’s 3 was a key basket.

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For those keeping track — and, I know, all of you are keeping track — the Lakers are now 1.5 games “behind” the Suns for the 2nd worst record. Having two fewer losses and one more win than the Suns, it’s very likely the Lakers will get locked into the 3rd. After all, the Suns only play 3 more games (Thunder, Mavs, Kings) while the Lakers play 4 (Kings, Wolves, Pelicans, Warriors). If the Suns lose out, it’s over. And I think they lose out.

So, that’s that. I covered some of this when talking about the Lakers’ recent wins, but I also took to twitter with a couple of additional points about the lottery.

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When Jeanie Buss took a hammer to the team’s basketball operations staff by relieving Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak from their respective positions in favor of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka, there was a lot of talk about guys like Ryan West and Jesse Buss and what role they would take under the new regime. As holdovers who had some name cachet and noted influence, specifically as it related to the draft, this made a lot of sense.

One holdover’s name which did not receive a lot of mention as the team transitioned to the Magic/Pelinka era, however, was Assistant GM Glenn Carraro.¬†Well, maybe there was good reason for that. It seems Carraro is not in the team’s plans for the future.

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