The Lakers only have 24 games left on their schedule.
The Lakers are still 2 games below a .500 record.
The Lakers are currently the 9th seed in the always competitive Western Conference.
Considering all this, will the Lakers make the playoffs?
It’s a question that everyone is asking right now. And, it seems, coming up with very similar answers.
At ESPN LA, Dave McMenamin isn’t sure, but notes the road will be very difficult:
For argument’s sake, let’s say that trend continues and the Lakers go 0-3 on the road the remainder of the way against the Western Conference teams ahead of them in the standings — losing in Oklahoma City on March 5, at Golden State on March 25 (the one team ahead of them in the West they actually have beaten on the road this season, in Steve Nash’s return from a leg injury Dec. 22) and to the L.A. Clippers in a “road” game at Staples Center on April 7.
That leaves us with 21 games left to consider and the Lakers needing 17 wins in those games to reach D’Antoni’s magic number of 45 wins.
The 12 home games are: Minnesota, Atlanta, Toronto, Chicago, Sacramento, Washington, Dallas, Memphis, New Orleans, Golden State, San Antonio and Houston.
The Lakers are 10-10 (.500) so far this season against those teams. So, even though the Lakers have gone 18-11 (.621) at home so far, those 12 games shouldn’t be a cakewalk. Let’s split the difference between the two percentages, and say the Lakers win .561 of their remaining home games and go 7-5.
That would put their record at 35-38, with the nine remaining road games to consider.
Even if they went 9-0 in those games (at New Orleans, Atlanta, Orlando, Indiana, Phoenix, Minnesota, Milwaukee, Sacramento and Portland), they would not reach D’Antoni’s stated goal of 45 wins to make the playoffs. Plus, 9-0 isn’t really realistic when you consider the Lakers are just 8-5 (.615) against those teams so far this season. If they play .615 ball against them, you’re talking about them winning five or six of those games. Let’s say they get six; that brings their record to 41-41.
A 41-41 record will not get it done, that’s for sure.