The Los Angeles Lakers take on the Utah Jazz on Monday night in a game that could be judged to be the most important game of this season.
The Lakers are currently only one game away of the Jazz for last place in the Western Conference, and more importantly fourth-worst record in the NBA. If the Lakers lose Monday, they will go into their final game of the season tied for the fourth worst record in the NBA.
With the Boston Celtics winning two games in a row, the Lakers enter Monday’s game tied for the fifth worst record in the league. At 25-55 on the season, the Lakers have already eclipsed the worst record in the history of the team since moving to LA, but a loss Monday would be celebrated more than any other defeat in this season of disappointment.
Currently on a seven-game losing streak, the Lakers need to extend that run to nine games to ensure the season will end with the Lakers tied for fourth worst in the NBA. Theoretically, the Lakers could finish alone in the four spot, which would be a welcome surprise at this point.
Technically, the lottery makes it so that Lakers could fall back as far as seventh-place, but the team could also jump up to spots 1-3.
On the second night of a back-to-back, the Lakers have plenty of excuses to lose in Salt Lake City. If that happens, finishing the season with a loss in San Antonio, home of the best record in the NBA, would provide the purple and gold the best chance in the draft.
Some losses mean more than others, and a loss on Monday would mean the most to the Lakers’ future.