In 65 NBA games, the Lakers managed to win 41 times, enough to secure the Pacific Division title and No. 3 seed in the Western Conference heading into Thursday evening’s regular season finale at Sacramento.
With that standing secure, the Lakers are opting to rest stars Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, Bryant’s rest being the most intriguing since a 38-point scoring night would have given him the NBA’s scoring title over Kevin Durant.
Matt Barnes (ankle) did not make the trip, and Metta World Peace will serve the first of seven games in which he’ll be suspended, leaving a starting line up that could include Ramon Sessions, Steve Blake, Devin Ebanks, Josh McRoberts and Jordan Hill (or Troy Murphy).
Since the Lakers have not played since Sunday’s double OT win vs. Oklahoma City, and the first playoff game won’t be until Sunday, L.A.’s starting line up – minus perhaps Sessions – will have a full week off from games.
And whom will the Lakers play? We’ll know after Denver and Dallas finish off their respective games at Minnesota and Atlanta, both of which tip at 5:00 p.m. PST. Should Denver win or Dallas lose, Denver gets the No. 3 seed and the Lakers. Should Denver lose and Dallas win, it’s a rematch of the Western Semi’s from last season between L.A. and Dallas.