It has been an extremely rough season for the Los Angeles Lakers. Many things have gone wrong, from injuries to discontent amongst players. Most will be glad when the season is over, and hope for a new direction during the offseason. However, there are still five games left to play, and the Lakers still have to be professionals and show up to win.
The Lakers will play their last three home games against three potential playoff teams: the Houston Rockets, the Golden State Warriors, and the Memphis Grizzlies. All three teams still have much to prove, and will need to win as many games as possible to continue their season.
The Rockets come first, and the Lakers have no answer to their high-scoring offense. They are still hoping to secure a higher playoff seed, and will look to dominate early on. This could be a painful game to watch for fans, especially if Dwight Howard is healthy enough to play.
The Warriors are next, and are currently in sixth place in the Western Conference. With so many great shooters, they may set a new record for points scored against the Lakers, and should run away with this game. It also will mark the return of Steve Blake, who has spent the last several seasons in Los Angeles.
The Lakers will conclude their home stretch against the Grizzlies, who are 14 games over .500, but are tied for the eighth and final playoff spot. The Grizzlies have too much talent on the inside, and will have their way against a depleted frontcourt. It is likely that the Lakers will lose their last home game of the season.
The Lakers will then head on the road to play the Utah Jazz, who are battling with the Lakers for the worst record in the Western Conference. While a loss certainly won’t hurt the Lakers’ lottery chances, this is a game that they should win. The Jazz have just as many problems as the Lakers, although several young players give them hope for the future.
The Lakers will close their season against the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have the best record in the Western Conference, and should have clinched home-court advantage throughout the playoffs by the time this game rolls around. As a result, Gregg Popovich will likely rest the majority of his starters, giving the Lakers a chance. However, the Spurs play so well as a team, and should have no problem earning the victory.
For many, the end of the season cannot come soon enough. The Lakers will have many questions to answer during the offseason, and it remains to be seen if this organization can become the threat that it once was.