Can the Lakers reach the Top 6 and avoid the Play-In Tournament?
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Can the Lakers reach the Top 6 and avoid the Play-In Tournament?
Yes.
33%
 33%  [ 28 ]
No, but finish #7/#8 (top of the bracket).
31%
 31%  [ 26 ]
No, they'll finish at #9 where they sit today.
34%
 34%  [ 29 ]
Total Votes : 83

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ArminNBA
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2024 6:57 pm    Post subject: Can the Lakers reach the Top 6 and avoid the Play-In Tournament?

Can the Lakers reach the Top 6 and avoid the Play-In Tournament?

Let’s take a look at the standings:
— #5 Suns and #6 Pelicans (31-22 / .585) on pace for 48 wins.
— #7 Kings (30-22 / .577) on pace for 47 wins.
— #8 Mavericks (30-23 / .566) on pace for 46 wins.
— #9 Lakers (28-26 / .519) on pace for 43 wins.

Lakers have 28 games left. For the Lakers to match the Suns/Pelicans, they need to finish the season 20-8. If the Lakers want to be in the top of the Play-In Tournament bracket, they need to finish 19-9. This is assuming the teams ahead of them keep their current winning pace (and nobody would be surprised if any of them finished strong, making it nearly impossible for the Lakers to catch them).

Can the Lakers do it?

Let’s take a look at their schedule:
2/13 vs Pistons - W
2/14 @ Jazz - W
2/22 @ Warriors - L
2/23 vs Spurs - W
2/25 @ Suns - L
2/28 @ Clippers - W
2/29 vs Wizards - W
3/2 vs Nuggets - L
3/4 vs Thunder - W
3/6 vs Kings - L
3/8 vs Bucks - W
3/10 vs Wolves - W
3/13 @ Kings - L
3/16 vs Warriors - L
3/18 vs Hawks - W
3/22 vs Sixers - W
3/24 vs Pacers - W
3/26 @ Bucks - W
3/27 @ Grizzlies - W
3/29 @ Pacers - L
3/31 @ Nets - W
4/2 @ Raptors - W
4/3 @ Wizards - W
4/6 vs Cavaliers - W
4/7 vs Wolves - L
4/9 vs Warriors - L
4/12 @ Grizzlies - W
4/14 @ Pelicans - W

Additional Info:
— 15 Home / 13 Away
— 6 Back-to-Backs
— A 4-game road trip, 6-game road trip, and 2-game road trip
— Lakers play 12 games against Top 6 seeds and 8 games against Play-In or fringe Play-In teams (ostensibly 20 games against playoff teams).

RECORD TRACKER
Final Stretch: 19-9 | Overall: 47-35 (#8)


-----

Below I have divided the games into three categories: easy, medium, and hard.

EASY (6 total; 3 Home/3 Away): 2/13 vs Pistons - W, 2/23 vs Spurs -W, 2/29 vs Wizards - W, 3/27 @ Grizzlies - W, 4/3 @ Wizards - W, 4/12 @ Grizzlies - W

EASY RECORD TRACKER: 6-0

The Lakers have 6 EASY games with 3 Home and 3 Away. They should be able go 6-0 in these games and must approach these games with the mentality that they’re going to sweep.

One interesting thing of note in the EASY set of games: 4 of these 6 games are on the 2nd night of Back-to-Backs. That factor certainly impacts the degree of difficulty in these games, despite the fact that these teams are awful and should be "easy" to dispatch.

MEDIUM (13 total; 6 Home/7 Away): 2/14 @ Jazz - W, 2/22 @ Warriors, 3/6 vs Kings - L, 3/13 @ Kings -L, 3/16 vs Warriors - L, 3/18 vs Hawks - W, 3/22 vs Sixers - W, 3/24 vs Pacers - W, 3/29 @ Pacers - L, 3/31 @ Nets, 4/2 @ Raptors - W, 4/9 vs Warriors - L, 4/14 @ Pelicans - W

MEDIUM RECORD TRACKER: 7-6

The Lakers have 13 games against average to above-average teams with 6 Home and 7 Away (and only 1 game on the 2nd night of a Back-to-Back - 2/14 @ Jazz). They need to go 5-1 at home and at least 4-3 away (considering their putrid 10-17 road record so far this year, 4-3 would be a big win), so that they ultimately finish 9-4 against this slate of teams. It is especially crucial that they defeat the Pelicans and Kings, since they are #6 and #7 in the standings (those victories ostensibly serve as double wins in the Games Back column).

HARD (9 total; 6 Home/3 Away): 2/25 @ Suns - L, 2/28 @ Clippers - W, 3/2 vs Nuggets, 3/4 vs Thunder - W, 3/8 vs Bucks - W, 3/10 vs Wolves - W, 3/26 @ Bucks - W, 4/6 vs Cavaliers - W, 4/7 vs Wolves - L

HARD RECORD TRACKER: 6-3

The Lakers have 9 games against the best teams in the NBA with 6 Home and 3 Away (and only 1 game on the 2nd night of a Back-to-Back - 4/7 vs Wolves). The heavy home schedule against HARD teams is fortunate. The Lakers need to aim for a 5-4 record in this difficult set of games.

RECAP: If the Lakers go 6-0 against EASY, 9-4 against MEDIUM, and 5-4 against HARD (20-8 total), then they would finish the season with a 48-34 record.

As daunting as finishing 20-8 may seem, I think the schedule breaks out quite nicely to give the Lakers the opportunity to make a big run.


Last edited by ArminNBA on Sun Apr 14, 2024 1:59 pm; edited 33 times in total
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miggz23
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2024 7:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Can the Lakers reach the Top 6 and avoid the Play-In Tournament?

Lakers #15 ranked with their remaining SOS.

https://www.tankathon.com/remaining_schedule_strength

Mavs (8th), Warriors (10th), Pels (6th) have easier remaining SOS than us.

Suns (5th) have the hardest #1...

Kings (7th) is at #5.

Does Suns/Kings/Pels all slide down?
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governator
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2024 7:07 pm    Post subject:

We play in but that’s a good schedule breakdown
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ocho
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2024 7:08 pm    Post subject:

I don’t think they get there.
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ArminNBA
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2024 8:06 pm    Post subject:

Pelicans (now 32-22) and Mavericks (now 31-23) win tonight.

Lakers have no time to relax.
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I Bleed P&G
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2024 9:03 pm    Post subject:

What about 7th or 8th seed? You would have to lose twice in the play-in to not get in.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2024 10:16 pm    Post subject:

Where's "Drop out of the top 10 completely"? There's honestly a decent chance of that happening.

The Lakers just haven't been able to put together a formula to consistently win. They've gotten better on offense, but now the defense has taken a step back.

I don't trust that the Lakers' offense will hold up. There's too much reliance on hot shooting nights from people who are streaky.

I still can't wrap my head around the fact that the Lakers have had LeBron and AD healthy, playing well and they're STILL this mediocre.

What happens if that changes? Before you say it, NO the Lakers can't consistently play like they did against BOS. AR has been mostly mediocre this season, with awful defense to boot. I would trust D'Lo more to carry in that scenario, but even he won't always play well.

So many question marks with this team.

If 2 of GSW, UTA, and HOU go on a run, the Lakers are at risk. We've seen UTA go on a long winning streak. HOU has younger legs that might help them through the doldrums of the regular season.

They still have a negative scoring differential on the season. The losses have been more pronounced than the wins.

It's scary how the Lakers are capable of completely laying eggs against the likes of MEM, HOU, and BKN.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2024 11:00 pm    Post subject:

If the Lakers bother to actually play up to their ability against inferior teams, they can definitely get into the top six. But sometimes I wonder if they feel all they need to do is get the ninth or 10th spot and then they'll magically turn it on at the end of the season. That's what they thought two seasons ago.
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hydrohead
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2024 4:11 am    Post subject:

Current play-in tournament is Kings, Mavericks, Lakers, and Warriors.
Mavs and Warriors are on 5 game winning streaks. I don’t see them slowing down.
Seems like the clock is ticking on the always Questionable Lebron or AD Injury that will keep them out for an extended period of time.
I don’t see it and the play-in is going to be brutal.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2024 5:40 am    Post subject:

Nope. This team has an attitude problem.
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defense
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2024 5:42 am    Post subject:

No, don't think so

Been inconsistent all season and Ham is still the coach
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Four Decade Bandwagon
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2024 6:35 am    Post subject:

Incredible breakdown of the remaining schedule. But the reality is “ who knows which team shows up any given game”.

I have given up trying to predict anything this team does. I just watch and am hopefully entertained. With the understanding that every few games I’ll most likely be frustrated by a poor effort and loss. Just acceptance of who they have become.

I am tired of being told how “ good they can be” if all the dominoes align in the right way. Prove it, show me. Can’t wait to see it. But expect it? No way.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2024 6:38 am    Post subject:

Nice analysis
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ribeye
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2024 6:48 am    Post subject:

pio2u wrote:
Nice analysis


Yeah. Good job to the OP here. Also
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venturalakersfan
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2024 8:18 am    Post subject:

I thought that they would win 42-44 games before the season began and have seen nothing to change that.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2024 8:26 am    Post subject:

Didn’t we have the hardest remaining schedule in the league at one point? Did we get through the rough stretch of the season already?
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miggz23
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2024 9:31 am    Post subject:

CandyCanes wrote:
Didn’t we have the hardest remaining schedule in the league at one point? Did we get through the rough stretch of the season already?


I believe we have a brutal schedule in March. But SOS usually changes each game.
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SGV-Laker fan
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2024 10:27 am    Post subject:

those back to back losses at Houston and ATL really sucked.
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tox
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2024 10:30 am    Post subject:

CandyCanes wrote:
Didn’t we have the hardest remaining schedule in the league at one point? Did we get through the rough stretch of the season already?

Supposedly it cleared up after the NYK/BOS games
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danzag
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2024 3:00 pm    Post subject:

Yes. LFG
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LakerSD
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2024 4:34 pm    Post subject:

I’ll believe it when I see it. At some point you are what you are. They have been a play-in team for 3 seasons now.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2024 4:39 pm    Post subject:

Another thread that has a good chance to end up jinxing us, we are battling with the Jazz/Warriors/Rockets for the last 2 remaining spots, this is why Laker fans are the most hated
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2024 4:44 pm    Post subject:

We have New Orleans, Sacramento and PHX in our way in terms of basically being tied for the 6th spot.

They are 4 losses ahead of us.

That means that if we want to make the 6th seed, no matter what our record is, their record has to be 4 games worse.

So if we went 20-8 over these next 28 games, they'd have to go 16-12 at bare minimum for us to have a chance.

Sacramento is the team to watch in this scenario for the most immediate. They play PHX and Denver next. The PHX/SAC game helps us in one way or another, AS LONG AS WE WIN OUR GAMES.


But let's look at what they've got coming up

SAC vs
PHO
DEN
SAS
LAC
MIA
DEN
MIN

CHI
LAL
SAS
HOU
MIL
LAL
NYK
MEM
TOR
WAS
ORL
PHI
DAL
DAL
UTA


I bolded the important ones. Even if Sacramento were to lose all 11 of the games I bolded. They'd still have to lose another game, for the Lakers to take their spot at 6 if the Lakers went 20-8.

That's what we're up against.

Now let's bold the games the Lakers are expected to "win" upcoming.

2/13 vs Pistons
2/14 @ Jazz
2/22 @ Warriors
2/23 vs Spurs
2/25 @ Suns
2/28 @ Clippers
2/29 vs Wizards
3/2 vs Nuggets
3/4 vs Thunder
3/6 vs Kings
3/8 vs Bucks
3/10 vs Wolves
3/13 @ Kings
3/16 vs Warriors
3/18 vs Hawks
3/22 vs Sixers
3/24 vs Pacers
3/26 @ Bucks
3/27 @ Grizzlies
3/29 @ Pacers
3/31 @ Nets
4/2 @ Raptors
4/3 @ Wizards
4/6 vs Cavaliers
4/7 vs Wolves
4/9 vs Warriors
4/12 @ Grizzlies
4/14 @ Pelicans

Those are 16 games. That means that the Lakers need to win 4 of those games the 12 games they aren't going to be favored. And that would HAVE to win all those other games that have been bolded.
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ArminNBA
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2024 4:48 pm    Post subject:

LakerSD wrote:
I’ll believe it when I see it. At some point you are what you are. They have been a play-in team for 3 seasons now.


Not to nitpick, but in Year 1 of that stretch, they started 21-6 and were dominating the league before LeBron and AD got hurt. Clearly, the Lakers playing deep into October and then having to turn around and start the 2020-2021 season 1.5 months later wore down on them. I don't think this team was actually the quality of a Play-In team.

In Year 2, they actually badly missed the playoffs!

In Year 3, they made a drastic trade mid-season, finished the season on a strong 18-8 run to make the Play-In, and then made the Western Conference Finals.

I think most of us believed the continuity of returning the group after the trade deadline that ultimately made the WCF would lead to more regular season success in 2023-2024.

SOMETHING TO PONDER:

The Lakers started this season 14-9. They then floundered for 17 games, leading to a 5-12 stretch and 19-21 record. Since that stretch (and right as they appear to have figured out the 5-Out system and have improved drastically on offense), they have gone 9-5 during an incredibly difficult set of games.

I'm hoping they are more like the team that went 23-14 outside of that awful 17-game stretch, if not better, considering that the team also struggled a bit early when they were clumsily trying to adapt to the new 5-Out system while experience tons of injuries to the wing positional group (Vando, Rui, Cam).
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ArminNBA
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2024 4:50 pm    Post subject:

ribeye wrote:
pio2u wrote:
Nice analysis


Yeah. Good job to the OP here. Also


Thank you 🙌
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