The LA Lakers are suddenly among the favorites to make the playoffs and make a deep playoff run. With their victory over the Utah Jazz on Sunday, LeBron James and his squad have clinched the seventh seed and will play in the play-in tournament.
The team still has to face a couple of obstacles before making the playoffs. However, these obstacles are extremely easy in comparison to everything they’ve dealt with this season.
Considering they are the hottest team in the league at the moment, the LA Lakers should be able to win the play-in tournament easily. However, just one loss would be a huge setback.
The LA Lakers will play against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday
As the seventh-seeded team, the LA Lakers will host their play-in opponent on Tuesday night. They will square off against the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are dealing with major problems at the moment.
The Timberwolves beat the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday, securing the eighth seed and a play-in matchup against Los Angeles. However, they may not be able to count on Rudy Gobert and Jaden McDaniels for the game against the Lakers.
McDaniels injured his hand against the Pelicans, while Gobert was sent home for punching his teammate. Considering that both of them are starters, their absence will make the game much easier for the Lakers, who have won nine of their last 11 games.
The two teams have faced each other three teams in the regular season, with the Timberwolves winning two matchups. However, the Lakers won their most recent matchup by 12 points, 123-111.
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Minnesota had six players scoring in double digits, but that wasn’t enough to stop the Lakers. Anthony Davis was especially great as he finished the game with 38 points, 17 rebounds, a steal and two blocks.
If the LA Lakers beat Minnesota, they will advance to the playoffs where they will meet the second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies. If they lose, however, they will have to win another playoff game to advance to the postseason.
With a loss, the Lakers will play against either the OKC Thunder or the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night. The Thunder and Pelicans will play on Wednesday, and the winner will face the loser of the Lakers-Timberwolves matchup.
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With a loss to the Timberwolves, the Lakers will be fighting to make the playoffs as the eighth seed. In this case, they will face the Denver Nuggets in the first round.
The LA Lakers were 13th in the West at the trade deadline. Their 25-31 record was among the worst in the league, but they’ve been 17-8 since then. Due to this, they are definitely favorites not only to make the playoffs, but to also have a deep postseason run.