Lakers' playoff tiebreak records hint at wild scenario unfolding

LA's record in tiebreakers could lead to a monumental early clash.
Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers / Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Only one month remains in the regular season for the Los Angeles Lakers, and circumstances become more dire by the day. After their Wednesday night loss in Sacramento, the Lakers now hold a record of 0-4 against their division rival Kings.

It is increasingly frustrating that LA fails to take care of business against more physical teams like the Kings and the Nuggets. But even more concerning is the effect of their losses against teams like Sacramento that remain close with them in the Western Conference standings.

In a conference as stacked as the West, tiebreakers will become extremely valuable when the regular season is over and the playoff field determined. We saw this just last season when the difference between the four seed and the eight seed was only three games.

With the West being every bit as competitive this year, games against the teams near them in the standings will be the ones with the biggest implications for the Lakers. And unfortunately, those matchups are where LA has been falling short. As it looks more unlikely the Lake Show move out of the nine seed, a play-in matchup with the Warriors becomes more and more likely.

The likelihood the Lakers face the Warriors in the play-in is increasing

The Lakers' winless record against their cross-state record in Sacramento eliminates any possibility of them securing a tiebreaker over the Kings. LA also will lose any potential tiebreaker with Dallas after dropping two of their three contests with the Mavericks this season. They have a winning record against the Suns, but they remain three games behind them in the standings.

With tenth-seeded Golden State sitting four games clear of eleventh-place Houston, we could be racing toward a Lakers-Warriors play-in matchup in the nine-versus-ten game. It would of course not be the first time LeBron James and Stephen Curry met in the postseason, but it would not even be the first time they met in the play-in.

Back in 2021, the seven-versus-eight play-in matchup in the West was the seventh-seeded Lakers against the eighth-seeded Warriors, with LeBron hitting a clutch three late in the game to seal the win and secure the first-round matchup with the Suns for LA.

Getting that matchup once again would be a huge treat for NBA fans. Even if just for one game, being able to see two of the greatest of all time battle it out with high stakes one more time would be a privilege.