This has been a highly debated topic in the last 4 months. Will Kobe lead the Lakers to the 8 seed? Will the drama continue in Los Angeles?
Also, let's be honest. No one expected us to be sitting here in March debating about the Lakers making the playoffs. If anything, we expected ourselves to be debating about if the Lakers will make the one seed!
However, the Lakers didn't mesh well in the start and injuries did not help. Now we are here debating about the Lakers making the playoffs.
In my opinion, a couple things have to happen for the Lakers to make the playoffs.
- Dwight needs more touches
- Steve Nash needs to be more aggressive
- Earl Clark needs keep playing well
- The drama must stop
- Houston, who has the 2nd toughest schedule as of March 4, 2013, must do poorly.
- Steve Nash must improve on defense
- Lakers bench must improve
- Injuries cannot happen
Let's go one by one. Dwight needs more touches. Last year, on the Magic, Dwight averaged 3 more FGA per game, 5 more PPG, and was used 26.7% of the time on offense. This year, Dwight is used 21% of the time on offense. Dwight is the most powerful center in the league. Give him more touches and you will score more.
Steve Nash needs to be used more on offense. Last year, Nash would be involved on 20% of the plays on offense. This year he is involved on only 16%.
Earl Clark is filling in great for Pau. He is almost averaging 10 PPG and 7 TRB a game. His FG% has been raised from 36.7% to 47% this year. The past three years, he barely averaged one three point attempt a game. This year he is averaging 2 and making 34.4% of them.
Once the drama starts, the team becomes angry and everyone knows you can't win with a jealous and angry team.
Houston is currently at the eight seed. All that needs to happen is for Houston to lose 6 out 10 and for the Lakers to win 7 out of 10. In fact, the Lakers in the past 10 games are 7 and 3. Meanwhile, Houston is 6-4.
With all the great point guards in the league, the Lakers cannot afford a poor defensive effort from Steve Nash. Against the Thunder (Westbrook), Clippers (CP3), Warriors (Curry), and Spurs (Parker) the Lakers are 3-7.
The Lakers can't rely all one Kobe, Clark, Dwight, Nash, and Metta. They need some bench scoring. Right now the Lakers bench is 26th in scoring. This needs to improve.
They can't afford to lose anyone else. Without Nash, the Lakers might have trouble distributing the ball. Without Kobe, the Lakers might not do well in the scoring category. Without Howard, they lose great defense and someone who is a great scorer. Without Metta, they lose a great defender and good three point shooter. Without Earl Clark, they have no one at the power forward position.
As you can see, the Lakers have A LOT of hurdles to overcome if they want to make the playoffs.
Will the Lakers make the playoffs: Yes. Houston having the 2nd toughest schedule in the league will let the Lakers slip into the 8 seed. What happens in the playoffs is a totally different story.