NBA 2018-19: 3 Reasons Why the Lakers Might Still Make the Playoffs
LeBron suffered the worst loss of his career in a 42-point beatdown by the Pacers a few nights ago. Ever since that, the Lakers have beaten Boston at the buzzer and lost their most recent one in Philly by 23 points. To summarise the current status quo down in LA, things do not look good.
Luke Walton and the Lakers are currently 2.5 games behind the eighth seed (Los Angeles Clippers). With a 28-28 win-loss record next to their name, they are not in any position to inspire confidence in any expert about their probable playoff berth.
Plagued by injuries to prominent players on the roster, the hole is seeming almost insurmountable from an outside view. But what lies beneath the surface might be leaving more of an imprint than the physical injuries. The recent public showcase of putting everyone on the trade black for Anthony Davis by the front office has left a deep scar on the minds of the young core. There's no remedy to it. Magic Johnson cannot undo what has been there in the public domain for quite some time now.
However, as the Lakers currently stand outside of playoff picture looking in, there seems to be an intuitive voice in place that suggests they just might bag a playoff berth before push comes to shove.
Keeping in mind the aforementioned narrative of a grim Lakers future, let's list a bunch of reasons that suggest otherwise.
#1 Lonzo Ball is expected to return after the All-Star break
The Lakers are also expecting to get Ball back after the All-Star break. The point guard suffered a left ankle sprain Jan. 19 against the Houston Rockets and was expected to be out four to six weeks.
Lonzo has since missed nine games, and is expected to miss the Hawks matchup as well before All-Star break kicks in. This will give Lonzo and the Lakers nine more days before the next game.
The Rockets game on 22nd February might be the one where the Lakers would want to reintroduce Lonzo into the lineup. The sophomore point guard is averaging almost 10 points and 5.4 assists a game across the 47 matchups he has participated in this season so far.