Playoff bracket falling into shape perfectly for Lakers

As the standings shift, things are shaping up nicely for the Lakers to potentially make another deep playoff run.

D'Angelo Russell, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
D'Angelo Russell, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Fans of the Los Angeles Lakers will not soon forget the miraculous turnaround the 2022-23 team made. After beginning the season a dismal 2-10, the Lakers adjusted their roster at the deadline and went on a run for the ages in the playoffs.

Winning the play-in game against Minnesota, LeBron James and Anthony Davis led the way as LA secured the seven seed in the Western Conference and advanced all the way to the Western Conference Finals. As we know, they ultimately fell to the defending champions and the best player in basketball.

In the end, much of the Lakers' success in their improbable playoff run came because of favorable matchups. They had clear advantages over both the Grizzlies and Warriors that helped them send both their Western Conference rivals home. This season, it is looking more and more like the Lakers could have matchup advantages yet again should they advance to the playoffs.

Playoff matchups could favor the Lakers once again

As Matt Moore of The Action Network points out, a team like the Lakers is in the play-in range of the standings for a reason. But at the same time, certain factors could lead to them having the upper hand against certain foes in the postseason.

Take the Timberwolves for example. After holding the number one seed in the conference for months on end, Minnesota has struggled as of late and has begun dropping. Not to mention they are now without Karl-Anthony Towns, and could remain without his services for a potential first-round series with the Lakers.

Then we look at other potential opponents for LA, and more matchup favorability comes into play. The Oklahoma City Thunder are as talented as any young team in the association, but they still lack size and experience, something the Lakers can exploit in a big way.

Outside of the Nuggets and to an extent the Kings, the Lakers have shown they can beat anyone in the West this season, evidenced by their 7-4 record against the Clippers, Timberwolves and Thunder, three of the best the conference has to offer. It is still early, but the signs are there that LA could potentially have another favorable path come April and May.