The Los Angeles Lakers only have 13 games remaining in the 2012-13 NBA regular season.
Even at this point, the postseason is not guaranteed, but most would bet that the Lakers will be involved. With only 13 games remaining, Triple Threat took a moment to paint the playoffs picture that is beginning to develop at the bottom of the Western Conference.
Four teams are vying for three spots, and the four teams are separated by four games in the standings.
Golden State is holding onto the sixth seed with a couple wins in a row, but the Warriors have dropped off significantly since starting 22-10. The Houston Rockets have lost five of their last 10 games and are only one game ahead of the Lakers for the seventh spot.
Utah’s loss to New York highlighted how poor the Jazz have played of late. Utah has lost seven of its last 10 games, but it is still tied with the Lakers in the loss column. This is significant because Utah owns the tie-breaker should both teams finish with an identical record.
Of the four teams, the Lakers are the hottest team with seven wins in the last 10 games. However, the Lakers still need help. If the Lakers were to win out and the other three teams were to win out (yes, we understand that is impossible as these teams play each other), the Lakers would not be in the playoffs.
Analyzing the Lakers’ remaining 13 games, they play the Golden State Warriors twice. Also, the Lakers finish the season with an Apr. 17 meeting with the Houston Rockets, a game that could hold serious playoffs implications for both teams.
Apart from the playoffs contenders, the Lakers are also in the unenviable position of playing the Clippers, Grizzlies, and Spurs before the season ends. Those are three of the top four teams in the Western Conference, so the Lakers do not have an easy stroll into the playoffs by any means.
Also, the Lakers have one game at Portland, and every Laker fans know to grab some rosaries when LA heads up to Portland.
With Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol expected to be with the team for this final stretch of the season, the Los Angeles Lakers will hope to take advantage of their recent form, superior talent, and abundant experience.
After dropping to eight games below .500 and completely getting lost in Memphis, Mike D’Antoni’s team found the trail and now sits three games above .500.
They’re still not all the way home, but the Lakers can see the chimney smoking right about now.