3 most likely teams the Lakers will surpass in the Western Conference

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers
Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers / Harry How/GettyImages

It has been an up-and-down season thus far for the Los Angeles Lakers it is currently in an upswing. Los Angeles played really good basketball to close out the unofficial first half of the season, going 7-3 in the team's last 10 games before the All-Star Break.

That was not enough to climb into a playoff position as the Lakers are currently the ninth seed in the Western Conference. If the current standings hold, the Lakers would yet again be in the Play-In Tournament, marking the third time in the last four years that LA made the play-in.

LeBron James made it clear during the break that he does not want the Lakers to be in the play-in. If those desires are going to come to fruition then the Lakers are going to need to continue their winning ways and get some help from the teams ahead of them.

3 most likely teams the Lakers can surpass in the Western Conference:

Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings are the obvious candidates to circle as a team that the Lakers can surpass. Sacramento is one spot ahead of the Lakers as the eighth seed in the West with a 2.5-half game advantage over the purple and gold.

There is no denying that Sacramento is a talented team but the honeymoon phase from last season is starting to wear off. The Kings predictably took a step back this season and that slide may continue in the second half of the season.

The Kings are 5-5 in their last 10 games and have not been particularly good against teams with a winning record. Sacramento's 17-18 record against teams above .500 does not bode well for the second half of the season.

New Orleans Pelicans

There are a few reasons why the Lakers can be confident in the New Orleans Pelicans' downfall in the second half of the season. As solid as the Pelicans have been this season, this team has shown a tendency to break down toward the end of the season and also not show up when the lights are the brightest.

We saw the Pelicans stumble to the finish line last season after a hot start and we also saw the team collapse against the Lakers in the In-Season Tournament. Once the stakes start getting higher and the games start meaning more, the Pelicans are at risk of regressing.

There is also the added variable of Zion Williamson, who could get hurt at any point and completely derail the Pelicans season. As it stands right now, New Orleans is 3.5 games ahead of the Lakers as the sixth seed and they can't feel all that great about that cushion.

Phoenix Suns

If the Phoenix Suns stay healthy then they should be able to thwart off any risers in the Western Conference and at least stay out of the play-in. Phoenix has the same record as the Pelicans and is three games behind the fourth-seeded Denver Nuggets.

That being said, Phoenix has the worst record against teams above .500 among the top six seeds with a 15-15 record against such teams. A big reason for that is the injuries that have slowed Phoenix down this season, but those same injuries are why the Lakers have a chance to surpass them.

Just like the Lakers do, the Suns have huge injury concerns in Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal. With no depth around the team's big three, if the Suns lose any two of their three stars at the same time then they are going to be in serious trouble and they will start to plummet in the standings.

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