In order to determine if the Lakers are in a strong position to make a run at a top-four finish, let’s take a look at where they stand in the standings.
With their record already in tact, the Lakers have a clear path to a second consecutive top-10 seed.
They also have a ton of young talent that will make up for the loss of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.
With that said, it’s easy to overlook the Lakers’ lack of offensive firepower and the fact that they were only able to score 106.9 points per 100 possessions last season.
That said, there’s no denying that Kobe Bryant is a vital piece of the Lakers team and he will be an integral part of any team that makes it to the postseason.
The Lakers have been in a good spot throughout the season and are looking to finish strong.
With a young roster, a strong supporting cast and the ability to win in the postseason, the team could be in a position to compete for the top seed in the Western Conference.
The team has to find a way to get some wins along the way.
The biggest problem for the Lakers this season has been the defensive effort and overall play.
Despite being able to improve defensively and get back to a more balanced attack, the organization hasn’t shown any signs of turning the corner.
That will have to be addressed, especially since the Lakers rank dead last in defensive efficiency (101.1).
The Lakers also rank 27th in points allowed per 100 offensive possessions, which is the third-worst mark in the league.
Even with the team’s defensive struggles, it seems like they can be dangerous at times and the Lakers will need to find some ways to score in the paint to be competitive in the NBA.
If the Lakers can find a few wins along that path, it would be a huge accomplishment for the organization and it’s a place where the team has a chance to take a big step forward.
The Lakers have to take care of business defensively.
They rank 29th in defensive rating (100.0) and the team allowed just 104.1 points per game last season (down from 112.1 last season).
While the Lakers still rank dead-last in the conference in points per possession, they have an offensive rating of 97.1 and they are only allowing 98.4 points per hundred possessions.
There is a lot of talent on this roster, which could lead to some success in this area.
They need to get more stops on the boards and the offense needs to improve as well.
It’s easy for a team to fall behind in the race for the playoffs with a losing record.
It can be frustrating to watch, but the Lakers should make sure that they stay focused and play smart in the playoffs.
The team needs to get back on track defensively.
The average offensive rating (104.1) in the Lakers last season ranked 29th.
The defense ranked 26th, which was just below the bottom of the league in defensive possessions (100).
This season, the defensive rating has dropped to the fourth-worst in the League (106.1), which is a massive drop.
With the team allowing the most points per defensive possession in the entire NBA (96.3), the Lakers need to improve in this department.
This is a team that needs to find its game, and if the team is going to make any kind of run in the West, it will be with more consistency.
The Los Angeles Lakers have the potential to make the playoffs in the upcoming season.
They have a number of talented players that could provide them with a much-needed spark offensively and defensively.
With Kobe Bryant’s retirement, Pau Gasole and Pau Harris are on the cusp of being ready to lead the Lakers.
The Los Angeles Clippers have a young core that has potential to provide them the ball movement they lacked last season and the Los Angeles Kings are another team that could be a big factor in the team making a run in next year’s playoffs.
The next team that the Lakers could potentially make a push for is the Cleveland Cavaliers.
If they can win games, they will likely be in the mix for the second seed in this year’s postseason.
There’s a lot to like about the Lakers, but there are a few negatives that could prevent them from being a playoff threat.
The best way to fix this problem is to find the right players that can lead the team to a championship and this could be the team that does it.