The Los Angeles Lakers’ battle for playoff seeding will come down to the wire. Indeed, the regular season ends Wednesday evening, and yet the Lakers (56-25), Dallas Mavericks (56-25), and Oklahoma City Thunder (55-26) have yet to nail down a playoff spot. The Lakers can finish second or third, the Mavericks can finish anywhere from second to fourth, and the Thunder can finish third or fourth.
Each of the league’s 30 teams is scheduled to play Wednesday night: the Lakers visit the Sacramento Kings, the Mavericks host the New Orleans Hornets, and the Thunder close their season against the Milwaukee Bucks. Here are the various scenarios for the Lakers based on Wednesday’s potential results:
The Lakers finish second if:
The Lakers win;
The Lakers lose, the Mavs lose, and the Thunder win;
The Lakers lose, the Mavs lose, and the Thunder lose.
The Lakers finish third if:
The Lakers lose, the Mavs win, and the Thunder win.
Indeed, Los Angeles controls its destiny here: a victory over the Kings assures the Lakers of the second seed. But if they can’t take care of business against Sacramento, they’ll need some cooperation from Dallas and OKC to maintain that spot.
For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.