Being a fan of a team it's not easy for the heart, especially when the regular season is close to ending, and the playoffs are starting to get closer. In my case, i want the Los Angeles Lakers to have the easiest path to the finals as possible. Here's what i feel could be the "easiest" path
In the first round, the possible teams the Lakers can face (regardless of where they might end up) in the first round are: Mavericks, Nuggets & Grizzlies. The easiest opponent by far would be the Denver Nuggets.
They lost Wilson Chandler & Rudy Fernandez for the season, Nene is gone and their core simply doesn't have the quality to beat the Los Angeles Lakers four times in 7 games. The Mavs are always scary, because of their championship experience and Dirk Nowitzki is never an easy cover no matter who's guarding him and Memphis matches really well with us, they have two solid big men that can challenge our front line, an allstar in Rudy Gay and a stable, solid point guard in Mike Conley Jr.
The Lakers are currently third in the Western Conference with a 40-23 record, while the Clippers have 39-24, one more loss than the Lakers. Both teams have 3 games remaining and guess what? the Lakers have by far the hardest schedule out of the two. Tomorrow the Lakers are going to be playing at San Antonio. The Spurs are also fighting for the top spot in the West, they are 45-16 and are in a race against Oklahoma City for the top seed in the West.
Kobe and the gang need to win at least 2 out of the remaining 3 games in order to lock the third seed for good. If the Lakers do that, that's one goal completed. Since we have San Antonio & OKC coming up next, it's by far the best option to win at San Antonio and get that one win over with, especially since Oklahoma seems to have our number.. Assuming we get a split over those two games (Which is a real possibility), we need to win our final game of the season, which is, at Sacramento on Thursday.
If everything falls in place and Lakers get that third seed, the next step is for San Antonio to drop to second. The Spurs aren't easy but they are the best matchup for the Lakers. OKC has a lot of youth, explosiveness and that doesn't mix well with the Lakers veterans.
The effect of San Antonio dropping to 2nd. As much as Spurs are a better matchup against the Lakers, it also allows for OKC to be in the same bracket as the Clippers. The Clippers are one of the few teams that seem to have OKC figured out, both teams have a young all star point guard and a solid core all around.
This should be the order: 1. OKC 2. Spurs 3. Lakers 4. Clippers
Thinking too far ahead.. If the Lakers get past Spurs and Clippers upset OKC (which i don't consider an upset at all, Clippers went 3-1 against them during the regular season) That means both teams will share the staples center in an epic duel for the title of the best in the West.
Avoiding teams like OKC & Memphis and having home court in the western conference finals is more than a perfect scenario and a brilliant opportunity for Kobe, Pau and the rest to get to the finals and get another ring. Of course none of this may not happen, we have another full week of NBA basketbal ahead of us and almost every seed is still for grabs. My head hurts.
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