The LA Lakers are not in the perfect situation to make the playoffs at the moment. They are 23-27 and have lost four of their past 10 games. However, the season is not over yet and they still have a chance to make it to the playoffs.
LeBron James is very close to surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the NBA's all-time scoring list, but he also wants to win. Retiring with four championships is great, but another one would be amazing.
This article will reveal everything you need to know about the LA Lakers' chances of making the playoffs this year. We will take a look at their schedule and see how far they can go.
LA Lakers are not in a bad situation at the moment
The Lakers are currently 23-27 and have the third-worst record in the Western Conference. While this sounds bad, the truth is that they are not in a bad situation right now.
With 32 games left in the season, LeBron and his squad could make a strong playoff push and surprise their fans.
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As bad as their record is, the fact is that the Lakers are only two games behind the final play-in spot, currently occupied by the Utah Jazz. They are also three games behind sixth spot in the West, which would send them directly to the playoffs.
Lakers have a favorable schedule, but will have to rely on other teams
Out of 30 NBA teams, the Lakers are ranked 16th in the remaining strength of the schedule. This means that half of the league has a tougher schedule than them, which is favorable for them.
The average winning percentage of the upcoming Lakers' opponents is 49.8%. They will also face the Houston Rockets, who currently have the worst record in the league, two more times by the end of the season.
They will also play against the Orlando Magic (19-31), Portland Trail Blazers (23-26) and Toronto Raptors (23-28). Unfortunately, the Lakers will have seven back-to-back games by the end of the season, which will make the situation tougher.
The good news is that the Minnesota Timberwolves have the fourth-toughest schedule in the league. The Phoenix Suns, another team ahead of the LA Lakers, are ranked seventh, while the Golden State Warriors are 12th and the Jazz are 15th.
New roster additions could improve the LA Lakers
The Lakers traded for Rui Hachimura earlier this week and the power forward has played two games for the team so far. While the big man hasn't been amazing, there is no doubt that he will play well once he gets used to the team.
The 24-year-old forward has averaged 9.0 points and 5.0 rebounds for the Lakers so far.
The NBA trade deadline is on Feb. 9 and the Lakers have less than two weeks to figure out what other trades they can make. With another roster move, the team could further improve and make a strong playoff push.
If Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka decide to trade first-round draft picks, there is no doubt that the Lakers could land another great player.
Verdict: Slim chances
The Lakers have a chance to make the playoffs, but their chances are very slim if they end up in the play-in. While they have a strong team that can beat anyone, they are not exactly in control of their own destiny.
For the Lakers to make the playoffs, they will have to rely on other teams to lose games. This includes the Phoenix Suns, who have played poorly without Devin Booker.
The LA Lakers have nine more games until the All-Star break, but only three of those are at home. If they can win at least five games by the break, their chances of making the playoffs will drastically increase.
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The team will have an eight-day break during the All-Star Weekend. While LeBron James will play in the 2023 All-Star Game, he will also get a much-needed rest for the final playoff push.