LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have lost four of their last six games in what was touted as a final playoff push coming out of 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte.
While the Lakers have the fifth-most difficult schedule remaining this season, they have lost to the Anthony Davis-less New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns during their latest slide.
As a result, the Lakers find themselves 4.5 games back of the L.A. Clippers for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoffs, with just 19 games remaining.
They have just a 1.3 percent chance to make the playoffs, according to Basketball-Reference, after falling to the league-worst Suns. Although the situation is dire, James emphasized not becoming consumed with the playoff picture.
“We can’t keep looking at the standings. The standings are going to be what they are, no matter if we win or lose,” he said.
“I’ve never been one to kind of look at the standings. You’ve just got to go out and do your job, try to do it at a high level for 48 minutes and then see what happens after that. You can’t focus on the standings, because they shift and move so much throughout the course of the season.”
As James has come back from a 3-1 deficit in the 2016 NBA Finals against the 73-9 Golden State Warriors, this situation is completely different. While the 34-year-old has tried to be optimistic, defense and overall effort will most likely prevent the Lakers from ending their five-year playoff drought.
The current projections have the Lakers needing to win at least 45.2 games just to give themselves a chance to make the playoffs. As they would have to win 15 of their next 19 games, it is an uphill battle considering they have a five-game road trip coming up.
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