3 teams Lakers fans should be rooting strongly against as playoffs near

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Lakers fans should be rooting strongly against the Denver Nuggets

This probably is not the team you were expecting as the Denver Nuggets are the second seed in the Western Conference and have no impact on the Lakers actually making the NBA Playoffs. Many would point to the Phoenix Suns as the sixth seed, but then we would just be listing the three teams ahead of the Lakers in the standings.

Rooting strongly against the Suns is not as needed as that team will likely take care of itself. As talented as that big three is, it is as injury-prone as it gets and the odds of the team having to deal with an injury over the last month of the season are very high.

Not only that but the Suns have the third-hardest strength of schedule remaining in the entire NBA and are just 18-18 against winning teams this season. The Suns are the only team in the top six that does not have better than a .500 record against winning teams.

While the Suns take care of themselves and fall in the standings, Lakers fans need to keep an eye on the Denver Nuggets. Facing the Nuggets in the first round is an absolute nightmare, and Lakers fans should be rooting for Denver to slip to a spot where they can see them later in the playoffs.

Denver is currently second in the West and is half a game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Nuggets are only three games ahead of the fourth-seeded Clippers, so falling all the way to four is possible (and the best-case scenario) if Nikola Jokic checks out before the playoffs begin.

But if the Nuggets are the No. 1 seed and the Lakers are the No. 8 seed then it will be lights out on any playoff run for Los Angeles. The Lakers can beat both the Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves in a playoff series. Heck, even the Clippers look far more vulernable than they did three months ago.

The odds of beating the Nuggets in a playoff series are much slimmer. And sure, the road runs through Denver and the Lakers may have to beat them anyway, but something fluky can happen. Another team can upset Denver, they could get worn down, etc. The later the Lakers have to get through Jokic, the better.

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