The Los Angeles Lakers are currently right in the middle of the crowded Western Conference as the team looks to secure a spot at least in the NBA Play-In Tournament.
As it stands right now, the Lakers are the eighth seed in the Western Conference with the same record as the New Orleans Pelicans (who LA has the tiebreaker over). That being said, Los Angeles is only half a game behind the seventh-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves and 1.5 games back from getting out of the play-in altogether.
At the very least, the Lakers should be looking to secure a seventh or eighth seed that way the team has two chances at getting into the NBA Playoffs via the play-in. The team’s biggest threat in that regard is the Pelicans.
Luckily, the deck is stacked against the Pelicans as we enter the final six games of the 2022-23 season.
Lakers get massive gift from schedule makers with Pelicans’ last six games.
Los Angeles has a relatively simple final seven games. The season finale is not without its challenges but getting to play the Jazz twice, the Clippers, the Timberwolves and the Rockets is about as good as it can get right now.
The Pelicans do not have the luxury, which is a great thing for the purple and gold. The best teams that the Lakers are playing down the stretch are the worst teams that New Orleans gets to play. Here is the team’s final seven games, in order:
- at Denver Nuggets, March 30
- vs Los Angeles Clippers, April 1
- vs Sacramento Kings, April 4
- vs Memphis Grizzlies, April 5
- vs New York Knicks, April 7
- at Minnesota Timberwolves, April 9
That is a tough go of things for the Pelicans. Every single team that New Orleans plays to end the season is at least in a play-in position. Five of the six opponents are bonafide playoff teams while three of them consist of the three best teams in the Western Conference.
It would be very surprising if the Pelicans managed to go 3-3 in this stretch. It takes a 3-3 record for New Orleans to finish with a .500 record, meaning that the team will most likely finish with a losing record.
That means that the Lakers might be able to secure a much better spot in the play-in as long as the team can go 4-2 or better. That is certainly doable.
And if the Lakers can beat the Timberwolves in their matchup then the team might get home-court advantage in the play-in as well.