The Lakers' pick

With 8 games left and the Lakers tied in record for the final playoff spot but behind the Jazz for the tie breaker here is how the schedules break down for the last 2 weeks of the regular season with some comments.

The Lakers have a more favorable H-R split with 6 home games, 1 road game and an "away" vs the Clippers while the Jazz have 5 home and 3 roadies left.

The Lakers have 1 B2B game left (a road against POR after a H against NO) while the Jazz have none.

The Lakers have a harder remaining schedule (.563 opp w% to the Jazz's .521).

With the Jazz holding the tie breaker it appears they are the favorites to land the last spot. One major factor at the end of the season could be the positioning of SA, HOU and MEM. SA is well known for resting its vets at various points in the season and if they are locked into their spot look for them to be passive with their best players in the second last game of the season vs the Lakers. The LAL vs HOU in the last game of the season could likewise be easier for the LAL if HOU's spot is locked in. Meanwhile the Jazz play MEM in the final battle and they also could be resting their stars.

There is also chance for DAL to jump both teams to land the 8th seed. This seems unlikely as they have 5 road games out of their last 9 and are 1.5 back, however they do have a relatively easy schedule with 6 games against current non playoff teams. The DAL/LAL matchup on Tues looms large here. If the Lakers win they both gain another game and lockup the tiebreaker, while if DAL wins they will be only 1/2 a game back of LAL and but would still be behind in the tiebreaker. All in all DAL's chances of landing the final spot are slim, but still exist.

Lastly the value of the draft pick from the 8th spot vs the MIA draft pick. MIA will obviously be picking 29th or 30th (likely 30th) at the 2012 draft. Meanwhile the 8th seed in the West would currently be the 16th pick in the draft with a 2 game lead on the 8th seed in the east and a 2 game deficit on the 17th pick in the draft. Should the LALs take the 8th seed it is extremely likely that they would hold the 16th pick.

In short try to swallow back that taste of bile in your throat and go Lakers...

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at FearTheSword

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