The Los Angeles Lakers are almost a lock to make the playoffs, but nothing’s certain at the time.
They went from fifth to seventh in just one day, and the Western Conference playoff race has been crazier than usual.
That’s why they couldn’t afford to lose to the Los Angeles Clippers, as they’re now back in the Play-in Tournament, and their fate hasn’t yet been decided.
The Lakers could never match the Clippers’ energy.
Tyronn Lue’s team wanted to make a statement, and they had fresher legs and some extra motivation.
The Lakers were on the backend of a back-to-back, and there was even some talk about resting LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
So, when asked about this heartbreaking loss in a must-win game, LeBron called it a ‘scheduling conflict,’ although he did admit that the Clippers were much better than them in the game.
"It's one of those scheduling conflicts in the season and it definitely got the best of us tonight." @KingJames on the process leading into tonight's matchup, the Western Conference standings and more. pic.twitter.com/6S4kGFHIJa
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) April 6, 2023
The Lakers will now have to face the Phoenix Suns before ending the season vs. the Utah Jazz.
That’s not good news at all, as the Suns have made it more than clear that they don’t like the Lakers, and the trio of Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, and Chris Paul is undefeated when they suit up together.
Having the seventh or eighth seed would mean having to play an extra game either against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, or Dallas Mavericks to secure a playoff spot.
Moreover, it would match them up with the Memphis Grizzlies or Denver Nuggets in the first round, so the Lakers still have plenty of work to do down the stretch.NEXT: LeBron James Ties Kobe Bryant Record During OT Win Against Jazz