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Originally Posted by Simon $50 says lakers are 23-31 at all star break. Guess I was wrong...
02-08-2013, 09:16 PM #6021
02-09-2013, 04:52 AM #6022
The first pick of the 2013 nba draft, the los angeles lakers select...
^ that doesnt sound strange right now. Tsk tsk tsk
02-09-2013, 08:01 AM #6023
02-09-2013, 07:33 PM #6024
02-09-2013, 07:34 PM #6025
02-09-2013, 08:27 PM #6026
It probably wouldn't be a lottery pick anyway.
02-15-2013, 04:08 PM #6027
Thank god for the all-star break. I needed a break from fantasy basketball lol
02-18-2013, 07:06 PM #6028
Espn is screwing around with my fantasy stats. My PG and PF stat doesnt want to show or include in my standings. I could have finished in first place. -.-
02-18-2013, 11:07 PM #6029
Sad day for the Lakers. Dr. Jerry Buss was one of the best owners in sports!
02-19-2013, 06:48 AM #6030
02-22-2013, 02:17 PM #6031
03-11-2013, 05:58 AM #6032
03-11-2013, 12:51 PM #6033
03-11-2013, 01:08 PM #6034
03-11-2013, 01:30 PM #6035
03-11-2013, 02:25 PM #6036
Haha I had to Google it too.
03-11-2013, 07:13 PM #6037
Can Lakers snag sixth seed?
Before the Los Angeles Lakers knocked off the Chicago Bulls at the Staples Center on Sunday, the weekend had already been great for their chances of reaching the playoffs. The Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz -- the three teams that are closest to L.A. in the standings -- all played back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday and won a combined one of them (Houston over Golden State in a game that NBA rules dictate one of them had to win). As a result, the Lakers' victory on Sunday lifted them into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
If the Lakers' season were a movie -- and at this point somebody in Hollywood is probably writing up a treatment -- this would be the montage where they make up ground on the teams in front of them. We'd see shots of the Warriors, Rockets and Jazz missing shots, turning the ball over and giving up open 3-pointers intercut with Kobe Bryant's clutch heroics that have allowed the Lakers to overcome their own poor play against lesser foes like New Orleans and Toronto.
Suddenly, the bigger question isn't whether the Lakers can make the playoffs -- they do so in 85 percent of my simulations of the remainder of the season -- but how high in the West standings they might climb. The Lakers are a game behind Houston for the seventh spot and just two behind Golden State for the sixth seed. At this rate, they might make up that difference by next week.
Let's take a look at how the Lakers have climbed back in the race, and how the other teams fighting for the last three spots in the conference have done their best to let the Lakers back in it.
Golden State Warriors
On Feb. 2, the Warriors stood 30-17 and were thinking about their chances of moving up into either the fourth or fifth spot in the Western Conference. The Lakers were some nine games in the rearview mirror. Since then, Golden State has gone 5-12 and lost seven games off its lead over L.A. Now a playoff berth is no sure thing; the Warriors make it in about as many simulations as the Lakers.
The Warriors were never quite as good as their gaudy record; based on a plus-1.7 point differential at the time, Golden State really should have been something like 26-21. However, the Warriors have played far worse than that over the last five weeks. Their return to Earth is a good example of why my simulations incorporate preseason Vegas lines -- now weighted at about 30 percent of the projection the rest of the way -- along with schedule-adjusted performance to date.
Golden State's recent performance makes more sense in the context of expectations before the season. Unfortunately, it looks like the Warriors' apparent defensive improvement was the result of the coaching staff using smoke and mirrors to cover a weak frontcourt. Opponents have figured out that reversing the ball can lead to open 3-point looks and have averaged 9.2 makes from downtown per game in the 5-12 span, the second-highest figure in the league. As a result, Golden State's defensive rating has slipped from 12th in the NBA through Feb. 2 to 23rd since then, per NBA.com/Stats.
As compared to their competitors for the last three spots in the West playoffs, the Rockets are in much better shape. They've gone 5-4 since trading away their power forward duo of Patrick Patterson and Marcus Morris, with a better adjusted point differential (plus-5.2 points per game) than before the trades (plus-3.6). Houston's problem is inconsistency, which can be traced to the Rockets' heavy reliance on the long ball.
Since the trades, the Rockets are averaging a league-high 32.8 3-point attempts per game. Triples account for more than 40 percent of their shot attempts in that span. No team in NBA history has ever taken more than 35.0 percent of its shots from beyond the arc, a record that both Houston (35.1 percent for the season) and New York (35.7 percent) could surpass.
When the 3s are falling, the Rockets can beat -- and blow out -- anyone. When they're not, Houston would have a tough time against the Washington Generals. Expect such inconsistency to remain the norm. Still, the Rockets have the best chance of anyone to finish sixth in the West thanks to their strong overall level of play and relatively light remaining schedule.
The Jazz peaked with a win at Golden State in their first game after the All-Star break, pushing their record to 31-24. Since then, Utah has gone 1-7 to go from 5.5 games up on the Lakers to a half-game behind them in the standings. During that span, the Jazz's schedule tells an eloquent tale of suffering: two overtime losses, one by three at Cleveland on Wednesday and a one-point loss at Chicago on Friday.
Inevitably, such thin margins have put scrutiny on Utah coach Tyrone Corbin's reluctance to embrace his young talent, especially late in games. It's worth noting that part of the reason the Jazz are in position to make the playoffs in the first place is precisely because they won so many close games before the break. They started out 10-5 in games decided by five points or fewer and are still 10-9. Utah's overall record doesn't quite conform to the team's negative point differential. Still, all the tough finishes may be wearing on Utah. The Jazz mailed in the finale of their 0-4 road trip, losing by 29 at New York. They will have to turn things around quickly to get back in the playoff race. Their chances have quickly dwindled, and the Jazz now reach the postseason in less than 30 percent of simulations.
Los Angeles Lakers
That brings us to the Lakers themselves. As my colleague Tom Haberstroh broke down last week, the Lakers really aren't playing better, but they've been able to win the close games that went the other way early in the season. There are glimpses of the elite Lakers team we envisioned entering the season, especially with Dwight Howard starting to look more spry at the defensive end, but they also nearly suffered their own costly losses to the lottery-bound Hornets and Raptors because of molasses-slow starts.
Nonetheless, in large part because of the help the Lakers have gotten, they are now overwhelmingly likely to make the playoffs. It's worth remembering that 85 percent -- or 66 percent, per the latest Hollinger Playoff Odds, which are more conservative on the Lakers because they include only performance this season -- isn't 100 percent. For one, the only certainty in these projections is the randomness of outcomes, like the wild swings many of these teams have seen in their record in close games. They don't account for factors like injuries that could affect the Lakers' actual underlying ability. And there are still scenarios where the Lakers might just slump and miss out, as the Rockets did last year after pushing their playoff odds above 90 percent late in the season.
Still, the Lakers are now in position to start getting greedy. By moving up to sixth, they could avoid West powers Oklahoma City and San Antonio in the opening round and potentially set up a matchup with the crosstown rival Clippers (still most likely to finish third despite their own recent slump). The Lakers get all the way to sixth in about a quarter of all simulations. For a team considering summer plans as recently as the All-Star break, that's quite a turnaround.
By Kevin Pelton
The Following User Says Thank You to punjabi212 For This Useful Post:
03-12-2013, 05:42 PM #6038
I was a sitting duck on top of the league until yesterday. I pretty much only have the UTIL spots left.
03-12-2013, 06:25 PM #6039
03-12-2013, 06:39 PM #6040