The Los Angeles Lakers won the last game of the first half and will head into the all-star break with a 27-32 record. While the team is still 13th in the Western Conference, they are only 3.5 games back of being a top-six seed.
Los Angeles is certainly in striking range but the team still needs to take care of business in the second half. Getting into the play-in shouldn’t be all that difficult but this team is reaching for something higher than the play-in.
With a new-look roster following the flurry of trades, here is how we see the second half panning out for the Los Angeles Lakers (assuming everyone stays healthy).
Predicting every remaining game on the Lakers schedule:
Thursday, February 23 vs Golden State Warriors: WIN
The Lakers beat Golden State the last time these two teams squared off without LeBron James or Stephen Curry playing. LeBron should be active in this one while Curry will still be out. LA wins at home.
Sunday, February 26 at Dallas Mavericks: LOSS
While the Mavericks are probably getting a bit overhyped after the Kyrie Irving trade, they are still a very talented team that should be able to take care of business at home against the purple and gold.
Tuesday, February 28 at Memphis Grizzlies: LOSS
Memphis is a team that the Lakers are punching up towards. The Grizzlies are looking for revenge after the last game in LA that resulted in a loss (and a weird Shannon Sharpe scuffle).
Wednesday, March 1 at Oklahoma City Thunder: WIN
The Thunder got the best of the Lakers last time these two teams squared off on what was a historic night for LeBron James. Russell Westbrook was still on the team then. This is a different team and this is a huge must-win for LA.
Friday, March 3 vs Minnesota Timberwolves: WIN
Los Angeles essentially has all of the role players from last year’s Minnesota team, which is far better than this year’s Minnesota team. Even if Patrick Beverley returns, this should be a Lakers win at home.
Sunday, March 5 vs Golden State Warriors: LOSS
Curry may or may not be back for this game but it would be ill-advised to expect the Lakers to beat the Warriors three times in a row. They are too good of a team for that.
Tuesday, March 7 vs Memphis Grizzlies: LOSS
As great as it would be to beat the Grizzlies, they too are a very talented team that is better than Los Angeles. A win here at home would be massive, but Ja Morant is just too hard to stop.
Friday, March 10 vs Toronto Raptors: WIN
The Toronto Raptors should have blown it all up while they have the chance. Instead, they are mired in mediocrity and will lose to LA after making the long flight to California.
Sunday, March 12 vs New York Knicks: WIN
Los Angeles beat the Knicks at Madison Square Garden earlier this season and the outcome should be the same in this game. As long as most of the roster is healthy, the Lakers are the far better team.
Tuesday, March 14 at New Orleans Pelicans: LOSS
This is the eighth game in a two-week stretch for the Lakers and that is going to catch up to them, especially with LeBron being 38 years old. LA loses the first leg of this back-to-back as this is a prime candidate for LeBron to sit.
Wednesday, March 15 at Houston Rockets: WIN
The Houston Rockets are a very bad basketball team. It is far better for them to lose games rather than win them. If LA loses this game then they do not deserve to be a playoff team anyway.
Friday, March 17 vs Dallas Mavericks: WIN
Los Angeles gets its revenge against Dallas at home in this second matchup of the second half. By this point, the Kyrie honeymoon phase will be over as he will likely be up to his normal antics, hurting the basketball team in the process.
Sunday, March 19 vs Orlando Magic: WIN
Once again, this is a basketball team that is more committed to losing than it is winning at this point in the year. Did anyone say Mo Bamba revenge game?
Wednesday, March 22 vs Phoenix Suns: LOSS
The Phoenix Suns are really good. Like, really really good. If Kevin Durant and Devin Booker are healthy they are the most talented team in the league. As much as we would like to see it, it is hard to pick a Lakers win here.
Friday, March 24 vs Oklahoma City Thunder: WIN
Once again, the Lakers are looking for revenge and this is right around the point of the year where OKC may start shutting it down to avoid going into the playoffs to increase the draft odds for 2023.
Sunday, March 26 vs Chicago Bulls: WIN
The Chicago Bulls are another team that should have traded its assets but didn’t. With how disappointing the team has been this season, it is safe to predict a Lakers home win.
Wednesday, March 29 at Chicago Bulls: LOSS
That being said, it might be hard to beat Chicago two games in a row, especially with the second of which being on the road. The Bulls get their revenge.
Friday, March 31 at Minnesota Timberwolves: WIN
We are getting down to the point in the season where every game matters and that will give the Lakers the extra motivation the team needs to come out in this game firing. This feels like a prime insane AD game.
Sunday, April 2 at Houston Rockets: WIN
Once again, the Rockets are not a good basketball team. LA absolutely has to win this game.
Tuesday, April 4 at Utah Jazz: LOSS
This is a sneaky one. It is the first leg of a back-to-back and is right in the middle of a tough stretch of the schedule for the Lakers. This feels like a game where the team will rest one (or both) of the stars and hope to steal a win against a bad team. Utah is well coached and will put a wrench into LA’s playoff plans.
Wednesday, April 5 at Los Angeles Clippers: WIN
But then the Lakers will bounce back with a win over the Clippers, snapping a 10-game losing skid to the team. They have to beat their cross-hall rivals at some point, right?
Friday, April 7 vs Phoenix Suns: LOSS
Last we checked, Durant and Booker will still be on the team when they play this game. Unless they are injured or resting for the playoffs, the Suns should be able to take care of business.
Sunday, April 9 vs Utah Jazz: WIN
After dropping a game to the Jazz a week earlier, the Lakers will likely enter this season-ending contest needing to come away with a win for seeding purposes. With that in mind, LeBron James will carry this team to victory.
Final Lakers record prediction: 14-9 after the all-star break, 41-41 overall
This was not intentional but we have the Lakers finishing with a .500 record, which would be the perfect metaphor for this team’s up-and-down season.
There are several teams between LA and making the playoffs. If Los Angeles wanted to clear the teams ahead of them and not rely on tiebreakers then they would have to hope that said teams don’t have better than the following records:
- 12th-seeded Trail Blazers: 12-12
- 11th-seeded Jazz: 11-13
- 10th-seeded Thunder: 12-13
- 9th-seeded Warriors: 11-13
- 8th-seeded Timberwolves: 9-12
- 7th-seeded Pelicans: 10-13
- 6th-seeded Mavericks: 9-13
There is a lot of work to be done for the Los Angeles Lakers. None of it matters if they cannot win their own games, though.