The shortened NBA regular season is about to come to an end with the Los Angeles Lakers having just nine games left before heading into the playoffs as potentially one of the top seeds in the Western Conference. Despite the Lakers being in a good position in the West right now, currently in the third seed behind the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles will face some tough challenges in the final nine games that could drastically change their playoff position.
Lakers forward Pau Gasol talked about the Lakers’ recent struggles and lack of a sense of urgency via Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com:
“Lately we’re not playing with that sense of urgency that I think is needed at this point when there’s only nine games left now,” Gasol said, taking zero solace in his season-high 30 points to go with 13 rebounds. “We have a pretty tough schedule going into these nine games. So, we have to be aware of exactly what we’re playing for and where we are at this point of the season, which is at the very end. Otherwise it’s going to really hurt us.”
Five out of the final nine regular season games for the Lakers will come on the road. It is no secret that the Lakers have struggled throughout this season on the road. Not only will the Lake Show have a challenge in trying to get back on track after losing two straight and possibly more without Kobe Bryant (shin), but they will also have to face the red-hot Spurs (won 11 straight) three times in this final stretch of the regular season.
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As if taking on the West-leading Spurs three times wasn’t challenge enough for the Lakers, Los Angeles will also face the Thunder (April 22), Denver Nuggets (April 13) and the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks (April 15) in the last nine games.
So with a very tough road ahead for the Los Angeles Lakers in the last few weeks of the NBA regular season, Pau Gasol and company need to show they can get the job done and are ready for a deep run in the playoffs.