After playing 10 games in the last 17 days, the Los Angeles Lakers finally earned a three-day break before heading up to Oakland to play the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night. With the Lakers going 4-6 during December, it is time to take a quick peek at where the Lakers stand in relation to the rest of the league.
Even after winning three games in a row, the Lakers are still two games below .500 at 12-14. To put this in perspective, the Lakers are currently 12th in the Western Conference and a game and a half out of the playoffs—not good.
To make matters worse, the Los Angeles Clippers have been playing some of the best basketball in the NBA with 11 wins in a row. The Clippers are now second in the Western Conference and seven and a half games ahead of the Lakers in the Pacific Division.
The Lakers cannot afford any more hiccups and must continue to get wins if they want any chance at catching the flaming hot Clippers in the division or the nuclear hot Oklahoma City Thunder in the conference.
The Thunder have won 12 game in a row and are two games up on the Clippers. With only four losses on the season, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and company are off to the best start in the association.
In the Eastern Conference, the New York Knicks (who come to Los Angeles on Christmas Day) are holding off Lebron James and the Miami Heat for top spot. Atlanta is holding firm in third place with Chicago rounding off the top four.
The Boston Celtics are only one game above .500 and narrowly holding onto the final playoff spot. If the Lakers were not the spotlighted stumbling bunch, the Celtics would certainly attract more criticism.
With over two-thirds of the season remaining, the Lakers have enough games left to put together a run and slot into a good playoff position. However, catching the Thunder and Clippers may already be a fantasy with neither team showing any signs of slowing.
In short, the Lakers need to get it together in a hurry.