Two years ago, the Los Angeles Lakers were celebrating winning the franchise’s 17th NBA championship.
Now, they may find themselves out of the playoff picture altogether, even as LeBron James and Anthony Davis try to return from injury to help in the playoff push.
Will the Los Angeles Lakers miss the playoffs?
- As it stands now, after the Lakers fell to the Utah Jazz on Thursday for their fourth straight loss, Los Angeles is tied with San Antonio for 10th in the Western Division with identical 31-45 records.
- While the Spurs and Lakers split their season series, San Antonio holds the tiebreaker over Los Angeles because it has a better conference win-loss percentage.
- The Lakers and Spurs are likely fighting for the Western Conference’s final play-in spot — the No. 7 to No. 10 seeds in each conference will stage a play-in tournament to determine who fills the seventh and eighth playoff seeds for each conference.
- Right now, both teams are two games back of the New Orleans Pelicans for the No. 9 seed and 3.5 games up on Sacramento.
- The Lakers were a part of the play-in tournament last year and advanced as the No. 7 seed, though they lost to the No. 2 seed Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs.
What games do the Lakers and Spurs have remaining?
Both teams have six games left in the regular season.
Los Angeles Lakers
- Friday, April 1: vs. New Orleans.
- Sunday, April 3: vs. Denver.
- Tuesday, April 5: at Phoenix.
- Thursday, April 7: at Golden State.
- Friday, April 8: vs. Oklahoma City.
- Sunday, April 10: at Denver.
San Antonio Spurs
- Friday, April 1: vs. Portland
- Sunday, April 3: vs. Portland.
- Tuesday, April 5: at Denver.
- Thursday, April 7: at Minnesota.
- Saturday, April 9: vs. Golden State.
- Sunday, April 10: at Dallas.
Who’s got the tougher road to the postseason?
- Los Angeles likely has the tougher path, with all but one of its final six opponents — Oklahoma City being the outlier — in the playoff picture.
- San Antonio has two games against Portland, which is eliminated from the playoffs, before finishing against four playoff-caliber teams. Three of those final four games are on the road.