The Los Angeles Lakers might just be looking at their last chances to advance to the playoffs. With a 31-44 season record, the Lakers are now fourth in the Pacific Division and in danger of falling out of playoff contention.
With everything on the line during the last stretch of the regular stage, the Lakers might be too far from nailing a direct spot to the postseason. L.A. is set to head to Salt Lake to visit the Utah Jazz at Vivint Arena tonight to get a much-needed win.
For the Jazz, the story is different. Utah is now standing in the sixth spot in the Western Conference. Yet, with the Minnesota Timberwolves trailing behind them with a two-win difference, the Jazz are convinced that it’s all about widening the gap between them and their rivals.
With the very last chances for every team to make it to the playoffs on the line, every game will continue to raise higher expectations. Tonight’s faceoff between L.A. and Utah is no exception.
The Lakers might be 10th overall in the Western Conference. However, they have now widened the gap between them and the sixth overall seed, the Jazz, by 14 wins. So, despite taking a series of missteps, the Lakers might still have a chance of making it to the postseason.
If the Lakers remain as overall 10th and all stats remain unchanged, the Lakers would be facing the New Orleans Pelicans in the Play-In Tournament. That will allow them to fight for that 8th spot in the playoffs.
The Lakers will need to rely on their main star, LeBron James, to keep their hopes up. James has not just topped the Lakers on offense with 30.1 points per game. Yet, he has also managed to top their defense by adding 8.2 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.1. blocks per game.
The Jazz are now 0-5 in their last five games. To break away from a defeat streak would allow Utah to get back on its feet. With a two-win margin between them and the Timberwolves, the Jazz might be in the ideal position to get back to brighter results.
Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert continue to be the top men for the Jazz. Mitchell is now standing with 26 points and 5.4 assists. Gobert has covered Utah’s defensive end by adding 14.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game.
Utah must first find its way back to consistency with everything on the line. That implies, first, breaking away from their most recent dark patch. The following step will guarantee that they remain the Western Conference’s sixth overall seed.
With everything on the line, both the Lakers and Jazz will fight to the very end to hold on to their current positions. The total has gone over in five of their last six games for the Lakers. As for the Jazz, the total has gone under in 11 of their previous 15 games.
The Lakers are also on a losing streak, with an 0-3 record in their last three games and 1-4 in their previous five. L.A. is in a similar spot as Utah. For L.A., the San Antonio Spurs are their biggest threat.
With both teams tied for the 10th overall spot in the Western Conference, the Lakers have no choice but to widen that difference and not miss on getting the last chance to reach the playoffs.
For the Jazz, getting back to more wins will allow them to keep the Timberwolves away. With just 12 more days left of the regular season, it’s all on the line for both the Lakers and the Jazz tonight.