The playoff race ensues. With only a handful of games left in the regular season the league watches the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz to see which team will join the battle for the coveted NBA championship title.
In order to assess which of the two teams have a better chance at attaining the 8th seed, we have to observe their upcoming matchups. In Utah, the Jazz will be facing off with the incredibly talented Oklahoma City Thunder. Some people may believe that because the Thunder have solidified their playoff appearance, they’ll take it easy for the remainder of their schedule. That notion is rather incorrect. Scott Brooks has made it clear that his intention is to acquire home court advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs, which the Thunder could easily do because they are merely a game behind the top seeded San Antonio Spurs.
Now, let us explore the Lakers Tuesday matchup against the New Orleans Hornets. There are some key factors that are going to determine the outcome of the Lakers game. The first thing to point out is that the Lakers have already defeated the Hornets three times. And lets not forget that during those matchups the Lakers had no sense of urgency to win, as opposed to now, they have no other choice but to win. Also, the Hornets have nothing to gain from winning because they’ve long been out of the playoffs. More importantly, it’s technically even more beneficial for the Hornets to lose, that way they’ll be more likely to get a better pick in the upcoming draft.
So ultimately, we should look forward to, and expect, yet another change in this dramatic playoff race.