The Jazz hold a current half-game lead over the Lakers, which, because the Jazz own the tiebreaker between the two, is actually a 1 1/2 game lead. In other words, the Jazz’s proverbial destiny is in their own hands. Win out, and they’re in.
But, how likely is it that the Jazz win out? Not likely. However, the Lakers schedule is no treat either.
Jazz remaining schedule:
4/9 – vs Oklahoma City
4/12 – vs Minnesota
4/15 – at Minnesota
4/17 – at Memphis
Lakers remaining schedule:
4/9 – vs New Orleans
4/10 – at Portland
4/12 – vs Golden State
4/14 – vs San Antonio
4/17 – vs Houston
Mathematically, the Lakers need to win two more of their remaining games than the Jazz do. (i.e. if the Jazz win three of their four, the Lakers must win all five remaining games)
Looking at the Jazz’s remaining games against the Lakers’ remaining games, it seems highly unlikely that the Lakers get that spot back.
I would bet the Jazz end up winning three of their four games, with the lone loss coming against the Thunder at home.
This puts the Lakers in a terrible spot. Winning all five games is going to be nearly impossible. Nearly.
The two games I can see as the Lakers’ biggest issues are San Antonio and Houston.
The good news for LA is that both of those games are at home and both of those games are the last games of the season, which means both the Spurs and Rockets may be resting starters by then, as both of them have clinched their playoff spots.
The bad news, is that the Lakers aren’t exactly the most popular team in the NBA and it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that every team remaining on the Lakers’ schedule would love to play the “spoiler” role.
- NBA playoff picture: Jazz vault past Lakers (sbnation.com)
- Push for the postseason: Who is in contention the final three spots in the West? (thesportscode.wordpress.com)