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Look at the Lakers, look at the math and Utah should be nervous

Mar 7, 2013, 3:07 PM EDT

Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Metta World Peace AP

The Lakers keep on winning — even if it requires them to come from 25 points down on the road against the Hornets (who despite their record have been playing better lately).

But that was only half the equation — the Lakers were always going to need help from one or more of the teams ahead of them. Like from the Golden State Warriors (4 games ahead of Los Angeles), who lost four in a row before turning it around and winning a couple in a row. Or from the Houston Rockets, who have lost three of five and are two games up on the Lakers.

But nobody is helping out like the Utah Jazz, who have dropped five of ix and are now just 1.5 games up on the Lakers.

And when you look at the schedules ahead, the Jazz should be worried.

Utah has 21 games left on their schedule, 11 of them on the road and 12 against current playoff teams. They don’t face the Lakers again — and Utah has the tiebreaker — but they have a tougher schedule from here on out than anyone.

The Lakers have 20 games left split evenly between the road and home, and 10 of them are against current playoff teams. It should be added that the Lakers last seven games are stiffer competition, with five playoff teams on that list. The Lakers want to make up ground now.

It would seem like the Rockets (20 games, 8 on the road and 10 against playoff teams) have an easier path to the postseason. Golden State not only has the largest cushion but also the easiest schedule — 14 of their 20 are at home, with 11 playoff teams in there).

The question of whether any of these teams could beat the Spurs, Thunder or even Clippers is another question entirely (but the answer is no, but none want to work as hard as the Lakers would make them in the first round). But you have to get into the playoffs before we start talking matchups.

The Jazz have been a little unlucky lately (the keep losing close games and they have a positive point differential in their last five despite being 1-4) but they’ve seen their offense dip lately and they need to get it together. Those footsteps are getting very loud and the Lakers have found their stride.

  1. losanginsight - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    You have to be really ignorant if you thought for even a split second that The Lakers would not make the Playoffs.
    #countonkobe

    • dannymac17 - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      Well when you are 5 games below 500 at one point, do you blame anyone?

      But lets not act like they wouldnt get knocked out the first round.

      This was a team that was apparently built to go deep the first season they were put together.

      They have still been a disappointment.

      • aboogy123456 - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:04 PM

        This team is built to win as presently constructed, but I don’t care who you are, you need time to practice as a together in order to play well. The lakers spent all summer learning the princeton offense, then 5 games into the season they completely changed their offensive philosophy. This season was essentially their training camp, so you should have expected it to take some time. It also takes a lot longer when you’re team is decimated by injuries.

      • manchestermiracle - Mar 7, 2013 at 10:25 PM

        As opposed to your team’s 30+ years of “disappointment?” I’ll take an off year every decade or so instead.

      • loungefly74 - Mar 8, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        ZINGA!

        @manchestermiracle, thank you! yeah, i’m a fan year in year out…its the big picture i see.

        …and i like how trolls/haters/scum, etc… will dissect a possible failure such as “not making the playoffs” to…”okay, you made it, but you will be swept right away, etc…” and i bet…IF…IF they get in the playoffs and win the 2nd rd…it will be, “okay, you were lucky, but no way you are winning this round, etc…” my point? trolls/haters take that “Cutting off the nose to spite the face” approach. they will never admit any recognition. (heck, some still can’t get over they won back-to-back a few years ago…)

      • dannymac17 - Mar 9, 2013 at 2:54 AM

        What you clowns arent willing to admit it?

        Ive been a Clipper fan, but I also live in this city.

        its an observation that happens to be shared by many people.

    • bougin89 - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:56 PM

      Well we’re roughly 3/4 of the way through the season and the Lakers currently wouldn’t make the playoffs if the season ended today. I have no idea why anyone would think the Lakers wouldn’t make the playoffs.
      #welp

      • mainevent7567 - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:58 PM

        well it certainly is a good thing that there were never any plans to stop the season 3/4 of the way through. tell that to the LA Kings who won the stanley cup as an 8th seed.

      • dannymac17 - Mar 9, 2013 at 2:55 AM

        Are you implying that the Lakers are the new Kings?

    • 808raiderinparadise - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:16 PM

      This team if the worst hyped team in the history of the NBA, even if they make the playoffs.

      So the most ignorant part of all of this….

      was the Lakers organization thinking a 40 yr old PG who couldn’t guard me, a significantly declining Artest, and trading away Bynum for a new Bynum (Howard) and Pau Gasol who has nothing left, clearly …. would give Kobe what he needed to compete.

      Not too mention paying Mike Brown, then firing him for the next excuse coach, D’Antoni.

      Kobe is still balling, not a fan, but he isn’t showing age, just attitude.

      But the Lakers are the Fakers this year.

      • tsi431 - Mar 7, 2013 at 7:01 PM

        This team was not hyped at all. Even the preseason ranking did not show the Lakers at the top, not even at 2nd. They were predicted to be 3rd. That is not hype.
        Bynum vs Howard was a wash when both were healthy. The only player added was Nash.

      • jimeejohnson - Mar 7, 2013 at 9:22 PM

        Raiders’ fans have been delusional for many years.

      • 808raiderinparadise - Mar 8, 2013 at 4:17 AM

        ohhhh wowwwww

        A guy with a jimmy johnson name is talking bad to me?

        Since your a fan of a “sport:” in which women can compete with the best of em lol “go daddy!”

        Put your Budweiser down and take off your camo deer hunting hat.

        The lakers suck, are old and not in the playoffs. fact. fact you responded to me because that bothered you.

        Raider fans delusional? Sure some just like Laker fans. any sport fans.

        I dont wear a darth vader mask and sit in the black hole, but I am a true fan.

        So go watch your cars ride around in circles and maybe Danika patrick can continue to keep your “sport” worth anything past redneck material.

    • fanofevilempire - Mar 7, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      Mamba smells blood………….

      • dannymac17 - Mar 7, 2013 at 8:50 PM

        He smells desperation.

      • jimeejohnson - Mar 7, 2013 at 9:23 PM

        I reek of garlic.

  2. cowboysfaninbuffalove - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    When I watched the lakers play the nuggets last week…it was pretty glaring the lakers arent a playoff team. If they do sneak in itll be a sweep
    #countonkobetobeswept

  3. aboogy123456 - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    I’ve been saying all season that it was unfair to judge this team and all they needed was time. I think we still don’t really know how good this team can be as they are getting better every week, but I knew improvement was coming.

    If you look at the comments before all star break most of the haters were saying how it’s impossible for the lakers to win and that they have no chance. At the time the lakers had to win 2 out of every 3 games and the haters acted like it’s impossible. Kurt was also someone who didn’t believe in this team but at least he was intelligent about it and admitted it was possible for them to make it.

    • Kurt Helin - Mar 7, 2013 at 9:06 PM

      The way they had played I didn’t see a streak like this for them, I thought they’d get better but not make this kind of run. I didn’t think the wheels coming off the Jazz. But here we are.

      • cosanostra71 - Mar 7, 2013 at 11:23 PM

        The Jazz play lately has certainly been surprising, but as a Lakers fan I’ll take it.

  4. nygiantstones - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    I understand that everyone loves to talk about the Lakers, but at some point it has to be moot. Even if they get into the playoffs as the last spot, are they playing OKC first round? Are the Lakers going to solve their problems and win that series? Is there really any prestige to making the playoffs in the NBA? Christ, half the league makes it in. Who cares if they make the playoffs. Let’s care if they’re a legit Championship contender.

    • money2long - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      classic example of a guy who wants to rain on ppl’s party. hahaha hater ! talk about the playoffs when we get there. it’s a new season then, anything can happen.

    • zacksdad - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:21 PM

      Well for the Lakers if they make the playoffs, their first round pick goes to another team. If they do not make the playoffs, their first round pick goes to the Suns.

      If they make the playoffs, they will get ticket sales and other revenue. If they do not make the playoffs, they do not get the extra money.

      If they make the playoffs, they get playoff experience and small chance of moving on. If they do not make the playoffs, they get no playoff experience and no chance of beating anyone.

      So what are the downfall for making the playoffs? As a Laker fan I hope they make the playoffs. The only downfall I can see that Jimmie will decide to keep D’Antoni.

    • tsi431 - Mar 7, 2013 at 7:03 PM

      OKC has not played a healthy, complete Lakers team yet. Either Nash was out, Gasol was out, or Howard was a gimp. Come playoff time Gasol will be healthy and Howard is now healthy as well.
      They will be a different team.

  5. lakerluver - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    The LAKERS will not win the title this season but they can beat the Spurs if the LAKERS make the playoffs and they meet in the first round. Especially if Pau is back. That’s not a knock against the Spurs, I actually think they’re the best team in the West and would be a very formidable opponent for the Heat (or Pacers) in the Finals. The LAKERS just match up well with the Spurs. OKC and the Clips are too young, fast and athletic for the LAKERS. The Spurs are more half-court.

    • zacksdad - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:23 PM

      Also Tony Parker may or may not be back by then. Even if he is, he will be out of rhythm and shape.

      • savvybynature - Mar 7, 2013 at 8:03 PM

        The Spurs would beat the Lakers in a series even without Tony Parker.

        I do agree with you that the Lakers match up better with the Spurs than either OKC or the Clippers, but the Spurs play way better as a team, have more depth and a better coach. This just ain’t the Lakers’ season, sorry.

    • bucrightoff - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:26 PM

      The Lakers do not match up well with teams who have good point guards (all top 3 west teams have elite point guards), teams that have good athleticism (again, LAC and OKC for sure, and San Antonio is more atheltic than the Lakers), teams that play good defense (all 3 ranked top 10 defensive efficiency) and teams with better coaches (D’Antoni has made Del Negro look good for goodness sakes).

      Basically, the Lakers either need

      a) Stern’s intervention
      b) Kobe to average 45-10-7, while defending both the other teams best player and its PG to save Nash from getting torched
      c) The teams in front of them die before their series, forcing a forfeit.

      • manchestermiracle - Mar 7, 2013 at 10:27 PM

        Please leave any Stern “intervention” off of your moronic list. The last time Stern stuck his ignorant nose into the Lakers’ business the team lost an elite point guard to the Clippers.

  6. JMClarkent - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    I would appreciate Burks, Hayward, Favors and Kanter getting some god playoff experience, but if the Jazz aren’t fed to San Antonio/OKC and get a slightly better pick, I can’t say I’ll lose a lot of sleep.

  7. JMClarkent - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    I would appreciate Burks, Hayward, Favors and Kanter getting some good playoff experience, but if the Jazz aren’t fed to San Antonio/OKC and get a slightly better pick, I can’t say I’ll lose a lot of sleep.

  8. jimsjam33 - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    Doesn’t look good for the Jazz . The Lakers ? Maybe , maybe not . First round road kill at the very minimum .

  9. scalfor3 - Mar 7, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    I just don’t want the Lakers to mess up the potential Houston/OKC first round track meet.

  10. loungefly74 - Mar 7, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    first thing first…playoffs…lets just get there…

  11. pistolpete0903 - Mar 7, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    The Laker’s could give the Spurs some fits; however don’t see them having a chance against the Clippers/Thunder.
    If they hold their own pick this coming draft, might as well give in and improve on their draft chances (and their putrid bench!!)

  12. kb2408 - Mar 7, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    Amen, Manchester!
    But I digress. Look, the Lakers can’t win the title every year. But how can you tell they are the NBA’s premier franchise? It’s a surprise when they DON’T challenge for the title. Next season should be very different. Dwight will be healthy, Kobe will be healthy and well rested and the Lakers will probably have either Josh Smith or Kevin Love playing power forward instead Pau. I predict Kobe will ride off into the sunset with another title, ala Ray Lewis.

    • loungefly74 - Mar 8, 2013 at 9:31 PM

      oh yeah….kb2408 & manchester bringing up my spirit. we ARE fans. good to see LakerLuver back in the fold…

  13. jay231991 - Mar 8, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    Lakers can beat the Spurs, need to play great and be healthy to beat Clips/Thunder

  14. mrpostman985 - Mar 8, 2013 at 7:29 AM

    As a laker fan i do not fear okc! We never played them at full strength! We’re always jus a play or two from beating okc..jus like last year we culd hav essily went up 3_1 in dat series but jus a couple late game.mishaps!! Call me crazy !!

  15. BigBeachBall - Mar 8, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    Nash got left out of the offense thanks to kobe… and the lakers won… hmmmm…

  16. statisticator2 - Mar 8, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    Statistical analysis shows Lakers’ probability of making the Playoffs jumped more than 30% over the last 3 weeks, Utah’s decreased by just as much:

    http://statisticator.blogspot.com/2013/03/crazy-end-of-season-aka-for-100th-time.html

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