With another loss, this time to the Portland Trail Blazers, the Lakers’ odds of even making the play-in tournament are dropping.
After a loss to the Blazers where the Lakers couldn’t stop Portland’s 3-point shot, Los Angeles has fallen to three games back of the play-in tournament. The loss also created more distance between them and the 12th-place Thunder who are currently only two games back of the play-in spot and three games back of homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
FiveThirtyEight projects the Lakers only have a 36 percent chance of making the playoffs. Things are looking even worse for the Lakers as LeBron is dealing with a foot injury. While he is expected to come back for the next game, this injury seems to be something that the all-time points leader will have to deal with for the rest of the season.
Did the Lakers gamble too much at the trade deadline just to miss the playoffs?
If they are able to retain D’Angelo Russell, the Lakers will have a solid team going into next season. As Rob Pelinka mentioned at the deadline, these moves are solid for the Lakers as they were “pre-agency.” Still, LA has a hill to climb if they wanted to make real noise this season.
While the Lakers made good moves at the deadline, it seems that those moves may have come a little too late to have a major difference in their season. The Lakers’ front office waited till the trade deadline to trade Russ and one of those infamous first-round picks for any returning players who could really help this year.
Although the Lakers have a hill to climb if they want to make the playoffs, they should be able to at least make it close in the chase to the play-in as they have the eighth-easiest schedule remaining in the NBA. Of the teams left in contention for the play-in, only the Thunder have an easier schedule.
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