Lakers Second Best In L.A., Third In California, 11th In Western Conference


Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Time to face the facts since time is running out on this doomed Lakers season. We’ve heard all the excuses. We’ve been onboard for the weekly rollercoaster ride. We’ve been patient while this process plays put.

But it’s time to put in perspective where the Los Angeles Lakers stand in the NBA hierarchy. After all, you are what your record says you are.

As it stands the Lakers are playing a distant second fiddle in their own city to the Los Angeles Clippers. Despite consecutive blowout losses coming on the heels of a record win streak the Clippers are still sitting atop the Pacific Division with a record of 25-8. That’s good for a pretty much insurmountable 9 game lead over the Lake Show.

But the rankings of the two hoops teams playing in Staples is just the tip of this season wrecking iceberg.

In the state of California, which boasts of four NBA franchises, the Lakers are in the bottom half ranking third behind those Clippers and the completely revamped Golden State Warriors. Only the Sacramento Kings at 12-20 have a worse record in Cali. L.A.’s Bay Area rivals are currently 5th in the Western Conference with a record of 22-10. Mark Jackson has his team in a playoff seeding the Lakers could only dream of at this point.

Here is where the picture gets particularly bleak.

At the moment the Lakers, a team that entered the season with title aspirations, are 11th in the Western Conference a full game behind the Portland Trailblazers for the 8th and final playoff spot.

So I guess the glass is half full approach would look at the Lakers as serious playoff contenders. However on the half empty side it’s pretty obvious that being playoff contenders isn’t what was expected when Steve Nash and Dwight Howard brought their talents to Staples.

Now there is plenty of hoop left to be played. Problem now is that time is no longer on the Lakers side. They’ve got to get up to speed in a hurry before they slip even further in the NBA hierarchy.