Ranking 4 potential Lakers Play-In opponents by threat level

Taking a look at which Play-In teams would be the smallest and biggest threats to the Lakers.
Max Christie, Bradley Beal
Max Christie, Bradley Beal / Harry How/GettyImages
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It is already clear that the Los Angeles Lakers are likely to end up in the Play-In Tournament at the end of the regular season. Standing three games clear of the sixth spot in the Western Conference, it will be a tall task for them to climb back out of the Play-In range and remain there by the time the playoffs begin.

Not to mention the unfavorable tiebreak scenarios the Lakers are already faced with. Ending up as a top six seed is basically out of the question at this point, and LA must begin to prepare for the teams they will likely have to face in a winner-take-all, single-game elimination Play-In game.

The four teams the Lake Show is most likely to face in the Play-In are (in order of current standings) the Sacramento Kings, the Dallas Mavericks, the Phoenix Suns, and the Golden State Warriors. We will rank these four teams by the level of threat they pose to the Lakers in this scenario.

Least threatening: Phoenix Suns

The big three of Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal was looked at as a potentially league-breaking one when it first formed last year. But as we have seen, injuries and other circumstances have led to more of a rocky campaign this season than many would have guessed.

As far as how Phoenix has matched up with LA this year, the Lakers won three of the teams' five meetings, including two of the three in Los Angeles. The Suns are one of the few teams the Lake Show will actually own a tiebreaker over should it come down to that.

Phoenix's rotation is small enough that the Lakers will have the ability to push them around and impose their physicality on them. If LA found themselves in a Play-In game with the Suns, they would have to feel pretty good about their chances.