About a month ago the Lakers were 7-5 and sitting in the 7th seed in the Western Conference. I proclaimed they were going to make the playoffs. Since then they’ve gone 3-12 and dropped down to the 10th spot. As we all know, there are only 8 spots in the Western Conference playoffs.
Last night the Sacramento Kings beat the Lakers, 116-92, handing L.A. their 7th consecutive loss. Luke Walton was ejected. Things are not going great.
This is my fault. I just looked at that strong start and saw Luke Walton standing on the sidelines all handsome and cool and successful and thought there was no way they could miss the playoffs. I mean, remember the last time Luke Walton led a team to a good start? They won 73 games and made the NBA Finals. How was I supposed to know this wasn’t entirely sustainable? I jinxed the Lakers. Any other year and I’d be quite pleased.
The weird thing is I thought one team would drop, but no one has. I suspected it would be the Thunder, but who knew Russell Westbrook would be a combination of Allen Iverson in 2000-2001 and LeBron James in every year of his life? The Blazers have dropped 4 straight, but everybody is healthy. James Harden continues to lead the MVP race by a hair. Heck, the Grizzlies lost Mike Conley and have won their last 6 games. That should have been the opening.
The good news is that the Lakers are only 2.5 games out of the 8-seed. D’Angelo Russell missed 12 games during the recent bad run. There’s still time for #2 pick Brandon Ingram to become a contributor. Remain calm! There is still a long way to go before I have to delete that post saying the Lakers were definitely making the playoffs.
Then I’ll just have to delete this one.