The Los Angeles Lakers will have no home court advantage in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. They need help if they want to escape qualifying. But the worst part is that his playoff invitation is not even guaranteed.
The defending NBA champion may be in trouble.
For the Lakers, it was simple: they won most of the games when LeBron James was on the court, and they lost most of the games when he was away. Since he has been on the bench in 23 of the Lakers’ past 25 games, they have fallen to seventh place in the West-the lowest record since December last year. For them, the most likely destination is to play one or two games in the new qualifiers, waiting for the teams ranked seventh to tenth in each meeting.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel said after the Trail Blazers lost to Portland and fell to seventh place: “We don’t have to worry about it.”
James said a few days ago that he is not exactly a supporter of qualifying. He said that the NBA headquarters staff who have this idea should be fired. However, if the Lakers do not win a majority in the remaining five games, the qualifying game will await them.
Vogel said: “No matter where we are, we will be full of confidence.” “Obviously, we want to be in the top six. If possible, there are five games to achieve. And we will continue to work hard to win all that can be won. the match of.”
Dallas ranked fifth in the Western Conference with a 39-28 record this Saturday. Portland ranked sixth with 38-29, and the Lakers ranked seventh with 37-30. The Lakers may lose to the Trail Blazers or Mavericks in the playoffs, thereby reducing their chances of escaping seventh.
In other words, James-with a sprained ankle-may be back in the next few days, probably physically fit for the playoffs and rebuild some chemistry. This means that the champion has at least one reason for hope.
“When we are 100% healthy, we are the best team in the league,” said Lakers All-Star forward Anthony Davis.
Many bettors agree with this.
This Saturday, “FanDuel Sportsbook” continued to queue the Lakers as the second chance to win the NBA championship, second only to Brooklyn. The Lakers are the favorite to win the championship earlier this season.
Davis said of the qualifiers: “Obviously, we don’t want to continue this path.” “But if this happens, it will happen.”
Portland still has games against Utah, Phoenix and Denver-three of the four best teams in the West. Dallas is in very good form because the opponents in the last five games are teams with a .392 win percentage.
The last five games of the Lakers may include four games against the team. Phoenix will visit Los Angeles on Sunday, New York will visit on Tuesday, and Houston will visit on Wednesday. The Lakers will play back-to-back road games with Indiana and New Orleans at the end of the regular season-both sides can participate in the qualifiers next weekend.
Davis said: “When we are all in a healthy state, especially when we enter the playoffs, we will know what kind of team we are, and I think Jiga knows this too.”
Not only because James did not participate in the game, the Lakers also missed point guard Dennis Schroder (Dennis Schroder), among other things, due to health and safety agreements, he may not be able to continue the game for many days. Issues related to the coronavirus.
The whole year is a roller coaster for the champions. James and Davis-they did not participate in 35 games, most of which were due to a sprained right calf-only participated in 25 games throughout the season, and the Lakers have a 17-8 record in these games. The last time they played together was when the Lakers won on February 12.
Vogel said: “Like us all year round, we are in the adjustment phase.”
When James participated in the game this season, the Lakers’ record was 28-15, and when he did not participate in the game, the Lakers’ record was 9-15. The day James sprained his ankle on March 20, they ranked second in the Western Conference. Since the game against Atlanta, they have maintained a 9-17 record and have steadily dropped to the Western Conference standings.
If the Lakers get seventh, they will have two chances, whether at home or at home, they can win a game and enter the Western Conference playoffs. Although Vogel knew that anything could happen in a game.
Vogel added: “A lot of things happened in a series of matches: fouls, ankle injuries, anything can happen.” “So we absolutely want to be in the top six. This is our top priority. But at the same time, If we qualify for the tournament, I will trust our team.”
When LeBron James played this season, the Lakers had a record of 28 wins and 15 losses; when not, the Lakers had a record of 9 wins and 15 losses.
They were ranked second in the West on the day James (James sprained his ankle) on March 20. From the game against Atlanta, they have achieved a 9-17 record.
Mayo 9: vs Phoenix
Mayo 11: vs New York Knicks
Mayo 12: vs Houston
May 15: in Indiana
May 16 in North Orleans
Glad to know…
The knockouts consist of two different series, the first between the 7th and 8th of each conference classification, and the second between the 9th and 10th, regardless of the distance separating them in the table.
-The winner of the game between the seventh and eighth place will be automatically qualified for the playoffs in their respective meetings
-The losers of this game will be the 9th and 10th winners of the local game, and the winner of this new game will be ranked 8th in the playoffs of their respective conferences
In this way, the 7th or 8th place will have to lose two consecutive games to eliminate the playoff options, and only need to win one game to participate in the game.