Lakers tiebreak scenarios for the NBA Playoffs

These are all the tiebreaker scenarios for the Lakers with less than a week left in the regular season.
D'Angelo Russell, Los Angeles Lakers
D'Angelo Russell, Los Angeles Lakers / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Less than a week remains in the regular season for the Los Angeles Lakers. With just a few games remaining, the players have made it clear that their main goal is winning the matchups in front of them, rather than trying to matchup hunt.

The Western Conference has proven to once again be an absolute bloodbath this season. Unbelievably, there is now greater separation between the one seed Celtics and two seed Bucks in the East than there is between the one seed Timberwolves and ten seed Warriors in the West.

As such, the Lakers have no room for error over the course of their final three games. They cannot mathematically fall out of the Play-In field, but they can still wind up in a variety of scenarios a week from now, some more favorable than others.

These are all of the playoff tiebreak scenarios for LA.

Lakers' tiebreaker scenario with Kings:

Head-to-head record is the first criteria used to break a tie when two teams have the same record in the NBA. Unfortunately for the Lakers, that means they would instantly lose a tiebreaker with the Kings. LA lost all four of their matchups with Sacramento this season, and they currently sit half a game behind them in the standings.

Lakers' tiebreaker scenario with Suns:

Because of the In-Season Tournament, the Lakers actually played the Suns five times this season, winning the first three matchups and losing the final two. Since they have the edge in head-to-head matchups, LA would win a potential tiebreaker with them.

Phoenix has a particularly difficult remaining schedule. They will play at home against the Clippers, then go on the road against the Clippers, Kings, and Timberwolves. If they lose at least two of those games and the Lakers win out, LA would tie them in the standings and pass them.

Lakers' tiebreaker scenario with Pelicans:

This is perhaps the most interesting tiebreak scenario of them all, given that the Lakers' final regular season game will be against the Pelicans. LA has won two of three matchups with New Orleans so far, so a win in this game would give them the outright tiebreaker.

A loss would make things more complicated. Losing game 82 would mean the tiebreaker would then go to the team leading their division. As of right now, neither team leads their division. It would then be determined by who has the best record against conference foes, which as of right now is the Pelicans.

Three-team tiebreaker scenarios:

In the case of a three-way or any multi-way tie, a division winner automatically wins a tie. After that, the winner of a tie would be awarded to whichever team among the group held the highest winning percentage against the others it finished with the same record as.

It is rare for there to still be ties beyond that, but if there are, there is an extensive system in place to determine a winner. Winning percentage in division can come into play if all the tied teams are in the same division, along with winning percentage against the conference, winning percentage against playoff teams in conference, as well as point differential.