Lakers' playoff dreams come crashing down with heartbreaking injury updates

The latest injury news will all but destroy the Lakers' dream of making the playoffs.
Christian Wood, Los Angeles Lakers
Christian Wood, Los Angeles Lakers / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into the season, the Los Angeles Lakers were expected to be among the top teams in the Western Conference. They had just pulled off one of the best offseasons of any team in the association with strong role player signings like Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince and Christian Wood.

In addition, they re-signed some of their own top talent like Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves. All signs pointed to the Lakers having an excellent chance of making a deep run in the playoffs this season with nearly all of their roster from the 2023 Western Conference Finals run coming back.

Instead, what has unfolded this season has been a string of bad injury luck that has hampered what could have been a special Laker team all along. In a deep and competitive Western Conference, LA's personnel inconsistency has led to more losses stacking up than many expected.

Unfortunately, the latest injury update will only make matters worse for the Lake Show. According to Bill Reiter of CBS Sports, Christian Wood, Jarred Vanderbilt and Gabe Vincent will not be returning to the hardwood this season.

Injuries to Wood, Vanderbilt, Vincent could be final blow for Lakers

If true, this would be an immense blow for the Lakers' playoff hopes. A team that is already struggling to stay in the Play-In range will have even less chances of actually advancing to the postseason without what was supposed to be three key rotation players this season.

While sometimes inconsistent, Wood had been by and large a big positive in his time on the floor this season. He and Vanderbilt's defensive capability was supposed to be a major factor for the Lakers once they got to the playoffs. And of course, without Vincent, the team will attempt to ride out the rest of the season without a true backup point guard.

These losses will of course be a major detriment to LA not only over the final four weeks of the regular season, but in a potential Play-In game as well. With three less rotation-level players than they are supposed to have, the chances of the Lakers winning a high-stakes, single-elimination game to get to the playoffs is slim to none.

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