Anthony Irwin | Twitter: @AFIrwin1286
Topic: Playoff Match-ups
Disclaimer: Please, Lakers, PLEASE make the playoffs. Otherwise, the prognostication you’re about to read is basically worthless.
As we near the end of the regular season, playoff match-ups are becoming more clear and the playoff picture is falling into place. The races basically fall into three categories: best record, spots three through five and six through nine. We’re here to analyze those races and how they can best break for the Lakers in the first round and (hopefully) beyond. Oklahoma City and San Antonio have separated themselves as either the one or two seed.
Best case scenario: San Antonio beats out the Thunder buddies for the number one overall seed in the West. San Antonio plays with incredible efficiency but the Lakers simply cannot match up with Oklahoma City’s athleticism across the board. While only two games separate teams three through five, where they end up is still left unanswered. And then there were two: the Clippers from down the hall and the Nuggets of “Athletes ‘R Us.” The loser of this race would be the Lakers’ second round opponent if they somehow make it out of the first.
The Lakers have to be hoping for the Clippers to stay out of third for the very same reason they don’t want to see Oklahoma City in the first round. Denver could make a legitimate case for having MORE athleticism than Kevin Durant and company. However, Denver’s Ty Lawson’s foot injury and Danilo Gallinari’s season-ending torn ACL injury leaves the team’s fate up in the air at the moment. Yet honestly, how much fun would a hallway series be? Exactly.
That’s as far as regular season positioning can take us. From there, it’s hoping for one team to beat another in a series, something that has as much “if” as fact. Again, the Lakers must take care of their own business (not losing to teams sub .500 teams would help). But if they do and get some help, their trip through the playoffs might just fall into place for one of the least likely roads to the Western Conference Finals’ as any in recent memory.
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