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With two days left of regular season games, the Eastern Conference playoff matchups are all set … yet we have no idea what we’ll see in the West. As in, the only things set in stone are San Antonio’s No. 1 seed and Denver’s No. 5.
But will that keep us from speculating wildly to determine the possibilities for the Lakers?
Lakers Get the No. 2 seed in the West IF:
1) L.A. wins both of its final two games vs. San Antonio (Tuesday) and at Sacramento (Wednesday).
2) L.A. wins 1-of-2 games and Dallas loses at New Orleans (Wed.).
Lakers Get the No. 3 seed in the West IF:
1) L.A. loses 1-of-2 games and Dallas beats New Orleans.
2) L.A. loses 1-of-2 or both games, Dallas beats New Orleans and Oklahoma City loses vs. Milwaukee (Wed.).
3) LAL loses both games and Dallas and Oklahoma City lose their final games. The Lakers have the tiebreaker over OKC and would be No. 3.
Lakers Get the No. 4 seed in the West IF:
1) L.A. loses both of its games and Oklahoma City beats Milwaukee.
Editor’s note: OKC would only get the No. 2 seed if both Dallas and the Lakers lose all remaining games and the Thunder win their finale. Dallas could lose to N.O. and still stay above L.A. in the standings if L.A. loses both games.
Now, whom L.A. would potentially play in the first round is even more complicated, since Memphis, Portland, New Orleans and even Denver are all in play. Much light will be shed on the issue after Portland plays Memphis on Tuesday, though all three teams also play on Wednesday. Of course, it all depends upon L.A.’s seed.
Alas, here’s a look at some potential scenarios:
Lakers would face the Hornets IF:
- With L.A. as the No. 2 seed, New Orleans beats Dallas, Portland beats Memphis (Tue.) and Portland beats Golden State (Wed.) to make N.O. the 7 seed.
- With L.A. as the No. 3 seed, New Orleans beats Dallas, Portland loses to Memphis and Golden State and Memphis beats Portland but loses to the Clippers. All three teams would then have 35 losses, with New Orleans owning both tiebreakers to be the 6 seed.
Lakers would face the Blazers IF:
- With L.A. as the No. 2 seed, Portland loses to Memphis and beats Golden State, Memphis beats Portland and the Clippers, and New Orleans loses to Dallas, making Portland the 7 seed.
- With L.A. as the 3 seed, Portland beats Memphis and Golden State to lock up the 6 seed.
Lakers would face the Grizzlies IF:
- With L.A. as the No. 2 seed, Memphis loses to Portland but beats the Clippers, and New Orleans loses to Dallas, making Memphis the 7 seed.
- With L.A. as the 3 seed, Memphis beats Portland and the Clippers to earn the 6 seed.
Lakers would face Denver IF:
- L.A. drops to the 4 seed by losing both of its games and Oklahoma City winning out; the Nuggets are locked into the No. 5 seed.