Sneaking into the playoffs is the best the Lakers can hope for in 2022

Staples Center
Prayitno from Los Angeles, USA, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Here we are with the postseason right around the corner, and the Lakers playoff chances in 2022 seem to be fading with each excruciating L.

You would think that a LeBron James led team with Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook should at least hover around .500, but this season has been one to forget for the NBA’s most storied franchise.

Lakers playoff chances 2022

The truth is the Lakers’ playoff odds are as low as the team’s morale at the moment, and with the Lakers remaining strength of schedule, there isn’t much to be hopeful about. In the remaining 14 games, the purple and gold play the Raptors, Sixers, Jazz, Suns, Warriors, and Denver… twice.

That is the toughest schedule out there and the Lakers have been losing games to the Blazers and Pelicans.

So is it still realistic to consider this Lakers team playoff-bound? Let’s break it down and find out.

Failed experiment

When the Lakers traded for Russell Westbrook this season, they basically mortgaged half of the team for his bloated contract. They gave away Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, AND a 1st round pick! It’s clearly safe to say that the experiment was a failure.

Westbrook is having a horrendous season, the worst of his career without a doubt, but he’s not the only one to blame. The coaching, the team chemistry, the defense, the shooting; all of it has been almost embarrassing for a franchise that only two years ago was lifting a banner up to the rafters.


It’s easy to point fingers in hindsight, but whether it’s Rob Pelinka or LeBron calling the shots, someone should have seen this coming.

Play-In tournament format

If you’re a die-hard Lakers fan, then the play-in tournament is your best bet at your team squeezing its way into the playoffs.

Here’s how it works.

If the Lakers finish the season anywhere from 7th to 10th place, then they’ll qualify for a four-team mini knock-out tournament. If they finish 7th or 8th, then they’ll need to win only 1 of 2 possible games to make the playoffs. However, if they finish the season 9th or 10th, then they’ll need to win both of their games.

The Lakers are currently 9th in the standings. If the season ends today, they’ll have to play the Pelicans. They lost to the Pelicans by 28 points on February 28th.

The other teams involved in the mix are the Wolves and the Clippers, who are both playing much better basketball than the Lakers at the moment.

It just isn’t looking too good right now.

Silver lining

LeBron James is a beast. I’m sure you knew that, but he really is. He’s averaging 30 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds this season and he’s 37 years old. Nobody has ever done that in the history of the game.

Speaking of things nobody has ever done before, LeBron passed another milestone this year. He is now the only player in NBA history to have more than 10,000 points, assists, and rebounds. It’s always a good thing to have him on your team.

Anthony Davis is also nearing a return from an ankle sprain, and he’s also posting great numbers during his limited time on the court this season. Can this be enough to help the Lakers sneak into the playoffs?

Let’s get real

It’s never wise to bet against LeBron. We all know that, but let’s also be realists for a minute.

With everything said and done, the Lakers’ playoff chances in 2022 are probable, but is this really the ceiling for a so-called super team? It might just be…

There’s no question the Lakers’ roster needs a major overhaul (again) this offseason.

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