The NBA has finally announced the times for the Los Angeles Lakers’ final two regular-season games against the Indiana Pacers and New Orleans Pelicans. In L.A.’s final road trip of the season, the Lakers will take on the Pacers at 10 a.m. PT on Saturday and then finish with a 6 p.m. PT games against the Pelicans on Sunday.
It’s hard to say what importance these games will have for the Lakers in regard to the standings considering some wins by the Portland Trail Blazers and Dallas Mavericks between now and then could lock L.A. into the No. 7 seed, which would force them to be in the play-in tournament.
The Lakers are playing good basketball right now though having won four straight, so these final two games will serve as an opportunity to beat inferior opponents and build some momentum going into the postseason.
As things currently stand, the Pacers hold the No. 9 spot in the East. They are tied for eighth though, so they will give all they have to beat the Lakers in hopes of moving up into the first play-in game, where they would only need to win one game instead of two and can lose one without being fully eliminated.
The intensity in the Pelicans game should be far less considering they have already been eliminated from postseason contetion. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram have both been dealing with injuries so will likely be shut down for the final few games.
Moreso than winning the games though, the importance here for the Lakers will be getting fully healthy and gaining some continuity for the postseason run ahead.
LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder all missed the Lakers’ win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night although Frank Vogel is optimistic that all three will be able to play on Saturday.
Vogel: Lakers won’t make decisions on injury players until day of game
As for how the Lakers will handle the final couple of games, Vogel says they will wait until the day of before determining if the injured players can return since then they will have a better idea of where they sit in the standings.
“We’re really gonna make those decisions the day of game. Obviously we’d like to get as much time with these guys on the floor together that we can. But obviously if the last game is meaningless then we’ll make the call at that point, whether it’s more important to get some time together or to rest up for whatever is next. We’ll just make those decisions day of game.”
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