As the regular season comes to an end, the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in a battle against the Utah Jazz for the final playoff spot in the west.
The Lakers (39-36) currently find themselves with a half game lead over the Jazz (39-37).
Since the Jazz won the season series, the Lakers must have at least one less loss than them in order to make the playoffs, they cannot have the same record.
Neither team has what would be considered an easy schedule to finish the year.
Some difficult teams the Lakers must face include: Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, and Houston Rockets.
However, of their remaining seven games, the Lakers only go on the road once, and that’s against the Portland Trail Blazers (listed as away team versus Clippers).
A few of the tougher teams the Jazz must face include: Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Memphis Grizzilies.
Unlike the Lakers, the Jazz don’t have the luxury of only having one road game left, as they will be on the road for half of their remaining games.
With all that said, here’s how I see the end of the regular season playing out for both teams.
vs. Grizzlies – Loss
at Clippers – Win
vs. Hornets – Win
at Trail Blazers – Loss
vs. Warriors – Win
vs. Spurs – Win
vs. Rockets – Win
vs. Hornets – Win
at Warriors – Loss
vs. Thunder – Loss
vs. Timberwolves – Win
at Timberwolves – Win
at Grizzlies – Loss
I have the Lakers finishing 5-2 and the Jazz finishing 3-3.
This would put the Lakers in the playoffs at 44-38, while the Jazz are left out at 42-40.
Yes, it’s going to take a lot from the Lakers if they want to see the postseason, but in a season that has been really low at times, the players and fans should be optimistic that the Lakers will decide their own fate.