Fans of the Los Angeles Lakers never expected this to happen.
The team, which was once thought to be a true contender for the NBA Finals this year, is on the verge of being out of playoff contention.
In fact, they are barely hanging on to one of the lowest seeds in the Western Conference.
The Pelicans have passed the Lakers for 9th in the West.
They started the season 1-12. pic.twitter.com/R8kIZEeZ1n
— StatMuse (@statmuse) March 21, 2022
After weeks of clinging to the ninth seed, the Lakers have officially swapped places with the New Orleans Pelicans and are now the tenth.
This is a big success for the Pelicans, who started the season 1-12.
It’s also a major embarrassment for the Lakers, who won the Finals just two seasons ago and were supposed to be one of the best teams around this year.
This is not what the Lakers had planned for themselves – and it could still get worse.
Praying For The Play-In
Because of the way the NBA postseason is made, the Lakers literally cannot fall any lower in the standings.
The Play-In Tournament pits the seventh seed against the eighth seed and the ninth seed against the tenth.
In the end, two of those teams will emerge to be the seventh and eighth in the Finals.
But if the Lakers are overtaken by the San Antonio Spurs or Portland Trail Blazers and become 11th seed, they won’t even have a chance to fight in the Play-In.
And while that’s not likely, it’s also not impossible either – especially considering how the Lakers have been playing.
Right now, LA has a record of 30-41 while the Spurs sit at 28-44.
If LA loses a few more games (totally likely) and the Spurs win a few more (possible), then Los Angeles could slip even further down the standings.
And their postseason will be over before it even begins.