NBA Playoff Picture: Lakers' Playoff Odds Show Season Is on Life Support

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers are hanging by a thread in the Western Conference, as they are two games out of the No. 10 seed with just four games to play. 

Los Angeles doesn’t have the tiebreaker over the San Antonio Spurs or New Orleans Pelicans this season, which means it will need to finish a game above one of those teams in order to find itself in the postseason. 

Let’s just say that’s looking unlikely. 

The Lakers and Spurs both have tough schedules to finish the season, ranking No. 5 and No. 3 in Tankathon’s toughest remaining schedule strength, but Los Angeles needs to outplay the Spurs by three games over its final four. 

Essentially, the Spurs eliminate the Lakers from playoff contention by just going 2-2 over their final four games. 

Lakers’ Remaining Opponents in 2021-22 Season

The Lakers have one easier game remaining against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who they lost to twice earlier this season, but the Thunder are in full tank mode down the stretch of this season, losing seven of their last 10 games. 

Despite that one game, the Lakers still have to play the Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets, who are all in the top five in the Western Conference. 

Not ideal. 

Spurs’ Remaining Opponents in 2021-22 Season

San Antonio may have a tougher remaining schedule than the Lakers, but it doesn’t need to win nearly as many games. Los Angeles needs a minimum of a 3-1 record to make the postseason, and that’s only if the Spurs go 0-4 over their last four games. 

Gregg Popobich’s team has to face the Warriors, Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves to close out the 2021-22 season. 

Lakers’ Playoff Odds Are in Trouble

According to the latest projections at FiveThirtyEight, the Lakers have just a 0.2 percent chance of making the playoffs this season. 


While the Spurs only have a seven percent chance of making the postseason, they are firmly in the play-in picture at this point in the season. 

WynnBET Sportsbook has the Lakers’ odds to win the Western Conference at +4000, but that likely has much more to do with liability than Los Angeles’ actual chances. 

The path for the Lakers to make the playoffs relies on them either winning out or winning three of four games and the Spurs going completely in the tank. 

I don’t see it happening, and fans are going to have to brace themselves for a postseason without LeBron James if the projections hold up.

The NBA playoffs are coming, and baseball is about to start! Check out some of the top predictions from the team for the 2022 MLB season.