3 Nightmare postseason scenarios for the Lakers to avoid

The Lakers will want to avoid these unfavorable situations as the postseason looms.

Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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Being the 9 or 10 seed

The Lakers have been in the play-in range of the standings for a large portion of the season at this point. While entering the playoffs as a seven or eight seed is far from the best scenario, we saw last year that it is not the end of the world.

LA of course made their run to the conference finals as a seven seed, while the Miami Heat made it all the way to the Finals as the eight seed in the East. The numbers say that winning a championship as a lower seed is much more difficult, but playoff success can still be had.

The scenario that the Lakers would do best to avoid is finishing with the ninth or tenth seed in the West. Doing so would massively decrease their odds of ultimately being in the playoff field.

Over the course of the three seasons the current play-in format has existed, teams finishing with the seventh or eighth seed in the regular season have gone on to make the playoffs nine times, while missing out on the playoffs just three times. Conversely, ninth and tenth place finishers have only made the playoffs three times, missing out nine times.

History favors the teams who finish in the top eight of their conference. Failing to finish in this range would create an impossibly tough scenario for the Lakers.