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Looking at the Lakers' playoff seedings

Lakers8_600

As indicated by the Lakers' four-game losing streak, they clearly want the playoffs to begin today.

But that's not how it works. The NBA consists of 82 regular-season games and whether or not the Lakers actually show up to them, they at least have to be there for attendance purposes. There's a lot more riding on the team's remaining three games than the Lakers just wanting to get them out of the way and move on to the playoffs. There's seeding and home-court implications.

Because of the Lakers' poor play, here's a few things they can check off the list. The Lakers (55-24) are mathematically eliminated from catching the San Antonio Spurs (60-19) for the top seeding in the Western Conference. The Lakers also wouldn't have home-court advantage over the Eastern Conference leading Chicago Bulls (59-20) should they meet in the NBA Finals. That leaves the incentive in games against Oklahoma City on Sunday, San Antonio on Tuesday and Sacramento on Wednesday for jockeying against other teams.

The Lakers are tied with the Boston Celtics (55-24) and Miami Heat (55-24) for third-best overall record. But they could only secure home-court advantage over Miami if the Lakers have a better record since the Heat has beaten them in two regular-season matchups. Since the Lakers are 1-1 this season against the Celtics,  the next tiebreaker for NBA Finals home-court advantage is determined by each team’s record against the opposing conference. The Lakers would receive home-court advantage against Boston because they have a 21-9 record against Eastern Conference teams, while the Celtics are 19-11.

The Lakers have a better cushion against Western Conference teams, but not much. They only lead the Dallas Mavericks (54-25) by one game in the standings, though the Lakers have the tie-breaking advantage because they secured the Pacific Division title. Oklahoma City (53-26) trails the Lakers by two games and could surpass the Mavericks for third place, meaning a victory Sunday would help prevent the Lakers from having to play the Thunder in the second round. Even if the Lakers secured the second seeding in the West, it still remains unclear who they will play in the first round. Portland (47-33), New Orleans (46-33) and Memphis (45-34) are all conceivable opponents but it's likely that those last three seedings will not be determined until the final game of the season.

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Coach Phil Jackson shouts instructions to the Lakers in the fourth quarter of their 93-86 loss in Portlant on Friday night. Credit: Rick Bowmer / Associated Press

 
Comments () | Archives (37)

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MVP-I've been reading this blog for years, and have posted a comment maybe twice. But man you're a bozo, and your ideal of this team switching the championship button is childish and unfounded. I'm at every Lakers home game because I share box seats. And everyone in the suite feel the vibe that this team is heading for heart break hotel. And btw what type of attorney are you? Unless your the top lawyer in the office, I'll fire you. You spend so much time on the blog, and by your comments your game is weak. This team is slowly circling the drain, their is no desire or passion to 3 peat. Wondering about home court, there's no need. This group of millionaire players have no pride.

Posted by: Phoenix | April 09, 2011 at 12:14 PM

MM, If I remember correctly, it's not the team's conference or division record that is compared for Finals HCA, it's the team's record in their opponent's conference. I don't think that rule has changed. I was watching TNT and they showed the same rule as I remembered. If same record in opposition's conference, then it's a random drawing. TNT did a "ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS" parody on that possibility.

Boston is 19-11 and the Lakers are 21-9 in their opponent's respective conferences. Therefore, if tied, Lakers own the tiebreaker.

KOBE BEAN BRYANT IS "THE LOGO OF PROFESSIONALISM!"

LAMAR ODOM IS "THE SWISS ARMY KNIFE!"

"AND THE BEAST GOES ON..."

if miami and boston win the next 3 games then they will have a better record than the lakers at least the tie breaker.

Posted by: island priest | April 09, 2011 at 12:28 PM
-----------------------
Boston plays at Miami tomorrow...so its impossible for them both to win their next 3 games.

MM,

The tiebreaker rules can be found here:

http://www.nba.com/statistics/playoff_picture.html

The "better division record" rule is only used for tiebreaker if both teams are in the same division. For example, if both SAS and DAL (same division) ended up with identical overall W-L and tied in their head-to-head series, then whoever has the better record in that same division wins the tiebreaker.

MM: I think division and conference only come in if they are in the same division and conference.

Miami has the tiebreaker with Lakers. Boston does not. However none of this matters if they continue to play so poorly!

Could end up 4th in WC!!!! Yikes!

Kevin Ding of OC Register posted his blog on HCA NBA Finals and it tracks with my recollection.

http://lakers.ocregister.com/2011/03/23/lakers-own-tiebreaker-vs-celtics-likely-not-bulls/51343/

KOBE BEAN BRYANT IS "THE LOGO OF PROFESSIONALISM!"

LAMAR ODOM IS "THE SWISS ARMY KNIFE!"

"AND THE BEAST GOES ON..."

No three-peat.

The writing was on the wall in the Cleveland loss.

This team is not hungry.

It's one thing to sleep off San Antonio and Chicago, but to surrender home court to Boston or Miami? That's a fatal arrogance. My plan at present is not to watch the Lakers untl the late games of the second round, should they get that far. I figure why waste my time with this team if they've already checked out.

This team is simultaneously the best team and the worst team. They think they can turn it on. I say they're wrong.


@NUGGETSCOUNTRY ... Wow! Take a deep breath... hold it for 30 seconds...and relax...just remember that the NBA is truly a marathon like a 5-hour movie and we’re just finishing the first 3 hours before a brief intermission before the closing drama which is the playoffs start.
............................................
@KOBEMVP888... Well said, Kenny. It seems as if this Lakers team is bound and determined to put TrueFan’s infamous practice season theory to its ultimate test. As for home court advantages, last night was like losing practice game 6 and having to play game 7, which is now on Sunday.
............................................
@NBA4EVER ... Yes, this has been one of the most frustrating practice seasons ever but I think it is just part of the drama that produces greatness. This season is like Rocky VI. What keeps my glass half full is a healthy Drew who will dominate the boards and the paint in the playoffs.
............................................
@FRMKT ... Great call asking doubting Lakers fans if they “really” believe this team will NOT bring their A-game once the playoffs start. The lackadaisical play is frustrating but what really counts is finally having a healthy dominant Andrew Bynum for the first time in the playoffs.
............................................
@OCLEZY ... I also expect a win Sunday. The reality is this Lakers team knows in its heart and soul that with a healthy dominant Andrew Bynum, they are heads and shoulders better than any other team in the league. Unfortunately, they may have to prove that without home court advantage.
............................................
TOM

@Phoenix, you get the vibe that they are headed for heartbreak hotel? why, cause they lost a few games?

Also, you said this group has no passion? So, Phil coming back for one more year even though he could've retired last year = no passion?

Kobe playing with broken fingers= no passion?

Matt Barnes coming back sooner than expected from surgery=no passion?

Derek Fisher signing with the Lakers even though he would have gotten paid more with the Heat=no passion?

This team has a ton of passion and they will three peat

LAKERS WESTERN CONFERENCE SEEDING

LAKERS #4 SEED
Lakers would have to lose out (OKC, SA, SAC)--7 straight losses, UNLIKELY;
AND
OKC would have to win out (LAL, SAC, MIL)--Possible; AND
DAL would have to win 2 of 3 (PHX, HOU, NOH)--Probable.

Result: SA plays Lakers in 2nd Round.

LAKERS #3 SEED
Lakers win one game--Probable;
AND
DAL wins out--Possible, but NOH will be tough especially if they are positioning to avoid the #7 SEED.

Result: DAL HCA against Lakers in 2nd Round.

OR

Lakers would have to lose out--7 straight losses, UNLIKELY;
AND
OKC doesn't win out--Possible; AND
DAL would have to win 2 of 3--Probable.

Result: DAL HCA against Lakers in 2nd Round.

OR

Lakers would have to lose out--7 straight losses, UNLIKELY;
AND
OKC wins out--Possible; AND
DAL wins 1 of 3--Possible.

Result: OKC HCA against Lakers in 2nd Round.

LAKERS #2 SEED

Lakers win 2 of 3--Possible;
AND
OKC wins out--Possible; AND
DAL wins 1 of 3 (or loses out)--Unlikely.

Result: Lakers HCA over OKC in 2nd Round.

OR

Lakers win 2 of 3--Possible;
AND
DAL wins at least 2 of 3--Probable.

Result: Lakers HCA over DAL in 2nd Round.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Of course, the Lakers could assure the #2 Seed and HCA against at least the Keltics (and Miami if it loses one game) by winning out. Although there are other possible combinations also. I'll let you do the math.

My thoughts are that they will be ready tomorrow night and Tuesday night and will take the next two games at home. Sacramento will be a toss-up as they will be psyched being it is most probably SAC's last game at Arco Arena.

KOBE BEAN BRYANT IS "THE LOGO OF PROFESSIONALISM!"

LAMAR ODOM IS "THE SWISS ARMY KNIFE!"

"AND THE BEAST GOES ON..."

Lrob, ok the Priest made the first mistake in the last 3 years. But why should we worry about hca anyway. When la got manhandled a few months ago PJ askeda rhetorical question if it was april yet and if the playoffs had started. The fans on this blog said that the regular season meant nothing. The Priest always maintained that the regular season was important and now everyone is looking at seeding.

ACHIEVING GREATNESS !!!
...............................................
I not only believe that this team is going to win their third consecutive NBA championship but also that they are going to do so in grand style against greater competition than any Lakers team before. They’re going to turn Phil Jackson’s last stand into one of the greatest playoff runs in NBA history, perhaps even surpassing the 15-1 record of the 2001 Lakers team. That’s what I foresee.
...
Greatness is not something you can order from room service or create playing fantasy basketball. You need the ferocity of great competition, the drama of stirring comebacks, the fervor of inspired performance, the splendor of the grandest stage. That’s what this season for the ages is all about. This is the championship elevates the Kobe and the Lakers to the level of MJ and the Celtics.
...
Right now, it seems as if every team in the NBA is jockeying for position in the playoffs. There may well be as many as a half dozen teams who genuinely believe they can compete for a championship: Chicago, Boston, Miami, and Orlando in the East and the Spurs and Lakers in the West. The stage seems to be set for one of the most exciting and competitive playoffs in the history of the NBA.
...
But underneath all of the hoopla surrounding the creation of the Miami Heat, the resurrection of the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs, and the hopeful predictions of a changing of the guard, the rest of the NBA teams are holding their collective breath worrying that the emergence of a healthy and dominant Andrew Bynum may have extended the Lakers championship window.
...
That’s what we all saw during the Lakers dominating 17-1 post all-star game stretch. It is not a coincidence that this losing streak started when the challenge of the opponents dropped or that they struggled against the Blazers at the Rose Garden with Andrew Bynum obviously under the weather due to food poisoning. Right or wrong, the Lakers believe they can throw the switch.
...
And that in a nutshell is the problem with this Lakers team. They know in their heart and soul that with a healthy and dominate Andrew Bynum, they are heads and shoulders better than every other team in the league. While they want home court, they know in the end it will not matter because they are confident that they can win anywhere. They know they are destined for greatness.
...............................................
TOM

Phoenix

Bozo the Clown, I guess. You sound like a spoiled, entitled Lakers fan who expects your team to go 82-0 and 16-0 in the playoffs and have ZERO appreciation for the 4 season journey they have embarked on. Instead of getting personal, perhaps you should try looking at the Big Picture like a sophisticated fan such as yourself should do. Instead, you prefer whining about not getting your money's worth and have a stupid "what have you done for me lately" attitude. Boo hoo.

@MVP...

Only have a minute. Just wanted to remind you that there are those who are best left alone. Spirited, intelligent debate and discourse just don't fit the agenda of some folks. Stay sharp, my friend!

Mike

I'll love that Phoenix felt compelled to post his vitriolic message to KobeMVP888 on three different threads! Geez, feel better having gotten that off your chest?

LakerTom,

your post is ... trying.

Ok. you wrote:
But underneath all of the hoopla surrounding the creation of the Miami Heat, the resurrection of the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs, and the hopeful predictions of a changing of the guard, the rest of the NBA teams are holding their collective breath worrying that the emergence of a healthy and dominant Andrew Bynum may have extended the Lakers championship window.

my response: I believe this to be false. This season the entire league has been
given clear examples that Pau can be punked. It's *NOT* about Bynum. Don't
get me wrong. Bynum is important. However, Artest can't buy a shot some
games. To quote Phil Jackson to Artest:

"There's a reason why teams are leaving you open."

So... With Artest on the floor, the opposing teams are leaving him wide open
and inviting him to take 3's and he's doing it.

Pau is playing like a chump. Nice numbers, but there are a number of PF's
who believe they can take him and they're actually wanting to try.

Kobe's shot hasn't been right since he broke his finger last year. Has he been
successful, mostly? However, *NOBODY* is afraid of Kobe having a 40-pt
game anymore. Doesn't mean that he can't. It means that he won't because
his teammates will stop playing and start watching. They weren't this bad
a few years ago.

D-Fish is D-Fish. a wily veteran, but hardly someone to make you formulate
a different game plan for.

The only way the Lakers can win a championship is by having every one
play hard, commit to defense and make their shot. We have categorically
seem them not do any of the 3 for a number of games this year.

We can still win & Bynum is important, but if the rest of the guys don't do
their job all of your Bynum hyperbole is worth less than a cow fart in
Wisconsin.

And for the record, no where in this post did I indicate in any way that
Bynum had been playing poorly nor have I bashed him in anyway. He's
trying to play the "right way" and I'm content w/ what he's doing.

@MikeSpraim. Dang a 4 game losing streak and ur ready to write the Lakers off? EVERY YEAR EVERYBODY JUST GETS SICK OF LAKERS AND THEIR UPS AND DOWNS BUT THEN PEOPEL FORGET COME PLAYOFF TIME! IT'S not like every elite team (besides Chicago) is playing well: Mavericks just came off a 4 game losing streak, OKC is playing OK, Miami is still playing no defense, Boston is looking older and older and more tired, San Antonio just recently lost 6 strait. I am a little concerned about Lakers losing 4 straight, but I am more concerned about Lakers not securing that 2 seed. It is just simply amazing how everyone was saying L.A is going to catch the Spurs for best record, now people are saying L.A might be the 4 seed. Lakers can really get on your nerves sometimes. Why does it seem like Chicago (who I think is almost just as good as the Lakers) seems so much more hungry and L.A is just playing with no urgency and turning the ball over repeatidly. Kobe should not feel like he has to takeover games this late into the season! Kobe should be playing less minutes but now he is playing more! Lakers need to step it up and beat OKC tomorrow! It seems like wen L.A is on these losing streaks they are a completely different team like when the lost to the Kings and Utah! When Miami was on a losing streak at least they did not lose to awful teams; they lost to quality opponents. If Lakers secured number 2 seed I'd feel more comfortable.

I agree with coach Dave Miller on ESPN radio last night, Portland wants to beat LA so they can play against Dallas, Lakers also want to play against New Orleans. I don't feel bad after Lakers lost to Golden St and Portland, opponents had a good game, but Portland can't beat Lakers in 7 games series. If Lakers could beat Denver and Utah in LA, now they're in a good shape.

Months ago Kobe said on the radio 570AM, the Chicago Bulls had to play on the road in NBA Finals too, Kobe knew the history. The difference i think the Chicago Bulls did not face good defensive teams with big guys who can score inside in NBA Finals. This year it will be tough for teams to get out of each conference . Good things Boston doesn't have Perkins,Tony Allen, the Bulls are still young, but Derrick Rose has more better players around him than LeBron James last season in Cleveland, Miami has a young coach, and can Christ Boss be tough guy who can score inside ?

The Lakers have to pass San Antonio, good thing Duncan is old, bad thing, Popovich always make sure they play hard. The good thing with Lakers, Bynum is playing better, the bad thing, bench players not playing good. The important thing, if the luck is on your side, success will come easy. Phil had some players hitting big shots for him, Brian Shaw, Robert Horry, Fisher with 0.4 second left, Ron Artest in game 7, the next guy i hope will be Steve Blake.

Hey sorry. I just got out of practice not too long ago. Will get some content up shortly

Just read that the Lakers might be replacing Joel Meyers with Spero Dedes for next season. I REALLY wish the Lakers had gotten Marv Albert after Chick died, but apparently they wanted to get a fresh voice that wasn't already so tied to one team - as Marv was with the Knicks, broadcasting their games since the late 60's.

Joel has grown on me, but I'm looking forward to the move. Nothing against Joel, but after having been spoiled by Chick for decades, well his passing still leaves a void that Paul Sunderland or Joel hasn't been able to fill (well, no one will ever fill it).

I'd love to see Billy Mac move into the broadcast booth, but at least remain involved with the pre/post game stuff with the new network. He's funny and doesn't take himself seriously at all which is nice.

Hope Stu comes back, he and Spero should make for a good team. But if not how about Big Game James?

As for the latest losing streak, reminds me a bit of their play right before the all-star game. We all saw what happened after the break. It's a shame though if they end up giving up homecourt in the Finals due to a couple indifferently-played games right here at the end.

They've also gone away from their inside-out game. See what happens when they do that? The results aren't pretty...


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

So, my last take on this before I go away for a while is this:

Maybe the Lakers are really just setting up the most improbable scenario to get the 3-peat, just for an interesting challenge. Get as low in the standings as they can, then win each round without HCA if possible! That sounds like a Kobe type challenge, but nobody else on the team with brass B_ _ ls that big to try it. lol

TIVO is all set for the next 3 games without me having to suffer the details in real time! Gave them each an extra hour in case it turns out to be some instant classic like the PHX game.

Anyway, peace and out.

If anybody thinks the Lakers will win another game for the rest of this regular season they are very sadly DELUSIONAL!

The next two games against OKC and SA will be guaranteed losses. Ordinarily I would prefer that they be humiliating blow-out losses to wake the Lakers up but I don't think it matters anymore. These two teams can run up the score to win by 50 pts and then have a champagne party in the middle of the court and still I doubt the Lakers players will feel the least bit insulted, except maybe Kobe.

And ordinarily there maybe a ray of hope against the lowly Kings but then again it will be the very LAST game of the season. It will be just a formality really because the Lakers will already be planning for "one, two, three... Cancun" immediately after the game is over.

Good try LakerTom but your effort at cheerleading is really, really looking comical by the minute. Wish we really could find it funny!

"... Looking at the final three games, Jackson told the team it was important to show some professionalism"

Yeah you know when the coach questions his team's professionalism it is OVER! O-V-E-R!

Did somebody say NO PASSION? How about NO HEART?

chicken little is in full effect.

bring on the playoffs, i'm tired of this regular season already.


@HOBBITMAGE ... How are you doing, hobbit? I understand where you are coming from and I am sure there are teams in the league who are trying to tell themselves Kobe is hurt and injured, Fisher is over the hill and no longer effective, Pau can be taken out of his game with physicality, Ron is an offensive liability, or whatever competitive pabulum they need to bolster their confidence that they can possibly win a championship by defeating the two-time defending champion Lakers.
...
I don’t disagree that a healthy and dominate Bynum would not be enough to overcome poor playoff performances from Kobe, Gasol, Fisher, and Artest, not to mention our underperforming bench. But I also expect Kobe to rise above the injuries and drive this team to another championship along with Drew, whom I predict will share Finals MVP honors with Kobe. I expect Ron Artest and Derek Fisher to repeat their clutch veteran performances from last year’s playoffs and Pau to push hard to prove to his detractors that when push comes to shove he can deal with physical play.
...
Bottom line, when the chips are down, I expect this team to rise and seize greatness by the throat. I think their problem is that they know in their heart and soul that there is nobody out there that can beat them when they bring their A-game. That’s what I think we’re going to see in the playoffs. And I have a hunch that down deep that’s what you also expect. You’re too big a Kobe fan not to.
...
By the way, I am still hoping we can get the NorCal bloggers together to watch a couple of playoff games at a central sports bar. I’m hoping we’ll get a chance to meet in person and share that beer we’ve talked about from time to time. Here’s hoping you would be looking forward to the same.
...............................................
TOM

LakerTom,

you wrote: I’m hoping we’ll get a chance to meet in person and share that beer we’ve talked about from time to time. Here’s hoping you would be looking forward to the same.

my response: I would/am looking forward to it. Still dealing with the
grieving for my pup.

Hope you're right about seizing greatness.

The lackadaisical play is frustrating but what really counts is finally having a healthy dominant Andrew Bynum for the first time in the playoffs.

TOM

Posted by: LakerTom | April 09, 2011 at 02:02 PM
____________

Andrew has the rest of the league "...shaking like virgins on prom night..." Faithdalakerfan

If anyone here doesn't believe that, then ask yourselves this: who hopes to play the Lakers in the playoffs?

The inspiration for Portland's win was to avoid matching up against them in the first round!

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” Sun Tzu Art of War

Again: I and others should save the criticism for the playoffs because it's a whole other animal and this team knows how to respond in the playoffs.

We have two teams in one: the regular season Lakers and the post season Lakers. The regular season Lakers did their job: they're in the playoffs now let’s give the post season Lakers a chance on winning their 3rd championship in a row out of 4 straight visits. People: that's phenomenal. This team is the most feared team in the league and for good reason.

Can this team lose? Of course they can just like any other team in the post season but the smart money has the Lakers coming out of the west. Now, we all just have to wait and see.

"Everything about the Lakers is geared toward winning playoff games. It's what they do." J.A. Adande


"Even when we didn’t make the playoffs, I thought we'd win the championship." Dr. Buss


"...they're shaking like virgins on prom night... Faithdalakerfan


Go Lakers & In Buss We Trust!!


Good try LakerTom but your effort at cheerleading is really, really looking comical by the minute. Wish we really could find it funny!

Laker Tom is a comedian, and the joke is really on him.

Lakers won't slip to third in the west. LA would have to lose all three and Dallas or OKC win last three -- not going to happen. Dallas would be smart to slip to third, but they're not that smart.

The East is tougher - Chicago has home court - but I can onlyt hope that Chi comes out of the east - I don't see it. I've maintained this year that the Lakers need homecourt against Boston and Miami. Miami needs to lose one more than the Lakers -- I like the fact that Miami has a back to back after the emotional Boston game --

LA and Boston are the only two teams with the experience and the steel forged will to win a championship after last year's slobberknocker.

Hello everyone. I am for one share the same conclusions with Hobbit. Andrew is finally reach the playoff without any major physical set-back and he is not of my concern at all. Here are my concern for this team:

1. Is Pau gonna tough up in the playoff or allow the opposing PF to punk him like in the last few games? (I just hate his body language lately especially in the Denver game last Sunday. He didn't want to engage in the physical plays).

2. Whether Artest can regain his shooting form and not allowing the other team to treat him like Smush Parker by leaving him wide open and dare him to shoot? (His defense has been OK though)

3. Whether Mr. .2 second, DFish would find his shooting rate to offset his late poor defense and inability to make any assist? (It's painful to see him shoot nowadays).

4. Whether Kobe would regain his "Black Mamba" form in the playoff? (His fingers had caused many turnovers late in the game which prevent him from taking over the game)

5. Whether Shannon Brown would stop playing like a wide-eye rookie instead of the steady veterans off the bench (And please Shannon, please do not try to dribble penetration on offense caused it usually result in turnover)

6. When the real sure-hand sharpshooter Steve Blake would show up? (He was not the same player I thought he would be when the Lakers sign him).

7. When PJ would stop playing Luke Walton who gave us ZERO effort this year? (Sadly, his contract won't expire until 2014)

8. Whether PJ would count on the rookies; Ebanks & Caracter to contribute in the playoff? (PJ is known for not trusting the rookies)

I'm still believe in this team but my confidence is shaky after the last few lackadaisical efforts!!!!!!

Luke is signed until 2014? Wow. I didn't realize we had signed him for that long. WE're going to be stuck with him for that whole time too because nobody wants to pick him up.

In my honest opinion,Steve Blake has been a huge dissapointment. Offense is non existent and his defense.....well he's a dissapointment.

>>>The only way the Lakers can win a championship is by having every one
>>>play hard, commit to defense and make their shot.

Two other things...

don't turn the ball over. Before this 4 game losing streak, the Lakers were one of the league leaders in minimum number of turnovers per game. The last four games, it's been 18, 19, 17, and 17 turnovers... waaaay too many. And it seems like most of those have led to immediate fast breaks by the opposing team (often with Kobe or Pau standing complaining to the ref that they were fouled rather than trying to get back and help defend against the break.

Make your free throws. Again, the Lakers are one of the league leaders in making their free throws. Last four games they've shot 70%, 56%, 59%, and 50% on free throws. If the Lakers shot their usual high percentage on freebies, then they would have beat Utah and Golden State, and would have been in a 1 possession game with Portland with under a minute (instead of 9 or more points behind).

If they cleaned up BOTH the turnovers and free throw shooting, this was a 4-0 trip. But even hitting the free throws at their normal rate would have been a guaranteed 2-2 and a possible 3-1.

That's the thing to remember. Portland didn't kick the Lakers butts. Utah didn't beat them down. They defeated themselves with sloppy and careless play. There's no reason to fear either of those teams (or New Orleans) in the first round, as long as they clean those things up before the end of the season.

It would be nice if they could win out and Boston would beat Miami, but winning 2 of 3 and having Miami beat Boston wouldn't be too tragic (they'd still hold the tiebreaker over Boston, but not Miami - I still think Boston is more likely to make the finals than Miami).

Oh. And think about this...

ALL THREE of the Killer B's played really well at the start of the season and really well right after the all-star break. All three of them shot really well at those two times of the season and then got progressively worse.

When given a few days off, I think it's given them a little rest for the bumps and bruises and has also given them big hours to put in extra work on their shooting. With the greater amount of rest between games during the playoffs, I think you may see Shannon back to hitting over 50% of his shots and Blake and Barnes hitting close to 40% of their 3's. And that's another 8 to 10 points a game, and the made 3's force their players to guard them and not sag off into the lane like they've been doing lately.

>>>7. When PJ would stop playing Luke Walton who gave us ZERO effort this year?

I disagree. It's not that Luke gives zero effort, it's just that he hasn't played that well. But you can't play most guys 48 minutes, so playing Luke for a few minutes a game gives someone else a few minutes rest, and USUALLY they don't lose a whole lot of lead with him on the floor (once in a while, but not usually).

And just to make things perfectly clear, Luke played a grand total of 5 minutes in the last four games. It was all in the Utah game, and the Lakers were -1 with him on the floor. So there's absolutely no way you can blame any of these four losses on Luke. I'm not saying not playing Luke lost them those four games, but he certainly didn't contribute to the losses.

So I guess what I'm saying is that for the most part, Phil ALREADY HAS stopped playing Luke. He mostly only plays in garbage time when they have big leads lately. Artest and Barnes get all the minutes at SF.


I love the free sample site "123 Get Samples" search online to find their official website, that's where i get most of my samples from!!! yay i love free stuff.

phoenix isnt a box seat holder, he is a 42 yr old over weight meth addict. he works at kfc and has a paper route, his name is jacob and dont pay attention to him. he is a habitual liar and a thief. oh yeah he lives with his sister and her husband. hey jacob, now what?

LTLF:

How are you doing? We just interpreted Luke's situation differently. Luke has an opportunity to shine when Barnes was out due to his knee injury and during that stretch, Luke was very inconsistent. He can't make plays, shoot the basket or defend. That's the fact. In his last 5 minutes of play in Portland, Luke was 0-4, committed 2 turnovers and scored ZERO point. PJ would give him more minutes if Luke can manage to run the second team. Luke has been pretty healthy this year compares to the past few years when he had injuries. But signing him into a long term contract was one of the most embarrassed goof in the Lakes history.

I'm still believe in this team and Kobe!! Playoff is around the corner, time to get to work!!!


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