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NBA Los Angeles Lakers

Playoffs Start Tonight for Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers had a minor setback on Sunday afternoon when they played the Los Angeles Clippers and lost 109 – 95. The Lakers are in a battle with the Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Mavericks need a miracle to catch the Lakers and Jazz, which seems to make this a two-team race for the playoffs.

Currently the Jazz hold a .5 game lead on Kobe Bryant and company for the playoff spot. Utah has four games to play while the Lakers have five, including tonight against the New Orleans Hornets. It would seem that tonight would be the perfect time for Los Angeles to take control of the eight seed. While they are entertaining the Hornets, Utah will have its hands full with the Oklahoma City Thunder – a team trying to get the number one seed in the conference.

If Bryant wants a chance at ring number six, the playoff mentality has to start tonight. The Hornets come in with a very disappointing 27-50 record. Los Angeles cannot worry about what the Jazz are doing, and they must take care of business themselves. Kobe is known for having a killer instinct. Tonight is when he needs to show Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, and the rest of the Lakers what it means to be a champion. No other team wants to see Kobe in the playoffs because of his mentality and mindset. Even though they don’t officially start for another week and a half, the playoffs start for the Lakers tonight.

Greg Higgins is a Dallas Mavericks writer and NBA contributor for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @greghiggins457, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google