Ric Bucher's post on Basketball | Latest updates on Sulia
We're at the tipping point where, instead of it being hard to believe that the Lakers won't make the playoffs, it
may be harder to believe that they will. It sounds crazy for a team with so many veteran stars, but consider: the Nuggets right now are in the 8th spot with a winning percentage of .556. That translates into a 46-win season. Over the last three 82-game seasons, 46 wins is the lowest threshold for making the Western Conference postseason, so it's perfectly reasonable to expect that pace to be the price of admission. For the Lakers to collect 46 wins this season, they have to go 31-18 the rest of the way. That's 31-18 without Dwight Howard or Pau Gasol for the foreseeable future. That's 31-18 for a team that, to date, has played the 19th hardest schedule, which means the rest of the way is going to be tougher, not easier. That's winning darn near two of every three games for an old team -- Kobe's words, not mine -- that is 5-7 overall in back-to-back games and has 10 more to go. I know, Lakers fans, a lot can happen between now and then, the Black Mamba still wears purple-and-gold, etc. For now, it's still harder for me to wrap my head around the Lakers in the lottery than making a charge and sneaking into the postseason, too, but the cold, hard facts suggest otherwise. Might be time to start preparing for that harsh reality.