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Community Shootaround: Lakers’ Playoff Chances

The Lakers own a record of 3-3 after upsetting the Warriors on Friday night. The win was a surprising feat for the struggling franchise and coach Luke Walton remained stoic about the outcome, adding that “it was just good to see the progress continuing.” 

Although it is too early in the season to celebrate anything substantial, the young season has been promising thus far for a team that was expected to be a strong contender for the 2017 No. 1 pick.  Julius Randle looked like a monster in the paint, scoring 20 points and nabbing 14 rebounds in Friday’s win. D’Angelo Russell looked like the team’s point guard of the future, making three of his seven shots from behind the arc. Lou Williams, who scored 18 points in the win, believes the team is destined for a great season. “We’ve got a lot of young talent here,” Williams added. “Finally it’s starting to look like we have some pieces in the right places.”

So that leads us to tonight’s topic: Can the Lakers make the playoffs this season? This team loves basketball and with other assumed contenders (Dallas and New Orleans, we’re looking at you) struggling out of the gate, we may see a surprising team make a push toward a postseason birth.

Why not the Lakers? Veteran additions Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng have fit in nicely with Los Angeles. If the young core can keep producing, this could be a team that competes on a nightly basis and gives itself a shot at snatching the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

Do you believe the Lakers will compete for the playoffs? If not, how many wins will they earn this season? Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on this team. We look forward to what you have to say.

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27 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Lakers’ Playoff Chances

  1. Lakers get in at 41-41

    • Chris Crouse

      I don’t think it’s out of the question. Plenty of other teams are struggling in the West

  2. smileydrinkwater

    36-46 outside looking in. Still will be a great season for a very young team.

    • Chris

      19 more wins (more than doubling last year)? No way I could be upset with that!

  3. Chris

    As a Lakers fan it’s really hard not to be excited for the first time in years. There’s a perfect blend of young and athletic talent in Russell, Randle, Clarkson, Nance Jr, T Black, Ingram and Zubac but also veteran leadership coming from Mozgov, Deng, Lou Will, Calderon, MWP and even surprisingly Swaggy P. And yes I named each contributor for a reason, showing the immense depth on this team. Led by a future coaching stud in Luke Walton, the ceiling for this Lakers team seems to be sky high for the future. I came into this season thinking 35 wins would be fantastic but given how the West is shaking up, and the fact that this team if for nothing else plays hard, they’ll be sniffing those last 2 playoff spots all season. Nice to be a Laker fan again. I love basketball!

  4. thedude

    Anyone read replies that start out “As a Lakers Fan….” that aren’t Lakers fans? lol

  5. Perry

    I think they honestly can, Russell will have to step. He’s been playing a lot better than last year but defensively he’s not been good. Their bench has been playing incredible. If they closed a few games they could be 5-1. But we will see. Best case: 42-40 Worst 30-52

  6. Metta for president

    I came into the season with no expectations other than just seeing the young fellas improve. But a part of me always believed we weren’t too far away from the play offs, especially with luke as our HC. As of now, we are playing great basketball, and could easily be 7-3 in our first 10 games. With the way the west is looking, the lakers should be challenging for that 8th spot. It’s too soon to say, but I think 40-42 can get us into the play offs. As long as we find a way to play good defense, we should be a contender for that last spot.

  7. Not sure about playoffs would have been happy with 25 wins but if we can win 35 that would be huge we still are looking for one breakout star and don’t know who it will be randel is surprising me for sure .

  8. Judah

    Walton has completely transformed the culture and is empowering his players. They’re playing with incredible confidence. They’ll be in the playoff hunt without a doubt if they can remain healthy. Walton is leading them.

  9. Busboys4me

    Heck naw!!! We will win between 27-30 games (I say 28). That won’t be nearly enough to make the playoffs. Russell and Clarkson will need to make great strides as far as improving their consistency, Randle will have to vastly improve his outside shooting while somehow gain his rebounding prowess (difficult when you are now outside the paint), and Deng will have to find the fountain of youth. Even with everyone else maintaining their current levels of excellence, these improvements may get them to 40 wins. That’s still not enough to make the playoffs.

  10. I’m pegging us at 35 wins. Although this team could sneak into the playoffs as the West is top heavy. So probably not, but its slightly possible.

  11. AulDawg

    I have no doubt that this group loves playing hard for Luke and Luke will continue to motivate and provide positive reinforcement.
    Having said that, keep in mind that the core group are very young and 82 games is a looong season.
    If Luke can continue to use a deep bench, the young ‘uns may avoid the typical fatigue that occurs in guys not used to the grind.

    Could they make the playoffs? Sure but a lot of things would have to fall into place for them to have a chance.

  12. dfree123

    I say why not? This team is reminding me of the Portland Trailblazers of last year. Nobody expected them to get as far as they did but they proved all their doubters wrong. Walton has changed the culture in Los Angeles and the team is having fun and playing together. I only see them getting better as the season progresses and they might just shock a few people!

  13. Jobeeeeeeem

    The season is only 6 games old for the Lakers. They have been playing better than the previous years but let’s face the fact that they are still young and will be inconsistent. Health will also be an issue.. Other teams are struggling with injuries so the Lakers can creep up the standings. And if those teams become healthy, the Lakers should play even more better to keep up with them.

    I commend the plays of Randle, Lou, JC, Tarik and Junior. They provide the energy day in and day out. Hope they continue to play aggressively and the sky’s the limit.

    Deng is currently struggling.. He had his moments but need to be more consistent.

    My overall standing prediction is: 38-44 and 10th in the West. Not bad after all.

    • “Even more better”

  14. Totally agree with the two of you. At some point we will have injuries and I expect it to be to the few veterans we have on the roster. Plus the comment about Deng fitting in nicely is wrong as it pertains to the court. He has looked a step behind and hasn’t played up to even his standards. In the locker room, I assume he is fitting in perfectly though.

  15. FormerlyZ

    Personal opinion from outside perspective heading into this season was the Lakers had a chance to be a lot better in a league where the mid tier-bottom tier tears are starting to look much closer to each other, but it would be hard for them to make the playoffs unless they got certain improvements.

    After seeing a few games, I’d probably say that 1 of Luol Deng or Julius Randle will have to come off the bench. Deng struggled at the 3, here in Miami, and hasn’t looked good there so far for the Lakers. He needs to be utilized more at the 4 in the modern NBA, as he was in the 2nd half last year. The Heat added more movement to the offense, and got Deng more involved, and that’s when he put up those big numbers, and he also was able to arguably impact the game even more so than usual defensively, switching and guarding multiple spots…Randle has been a favorite of mine since I saw him play a couple of high school games in his senior year, and then actually getting me to watch some college basketball for a few games when he was at Kentucky. I think he is a beast waiting to be unleashed even more. That being said, he and Deng currently play the same position. Randle still needs to improve a lot on the defensive end, and bringing consistent effort, and making multiple efforts on that side of the floor. He also needs to continue to improve his jumpshot, including expanding his range, and though he has somewhat improved in this regard, he needs to continue to work on his right hand, both going that way and finishing with that hand. I like that he is being utilized more as a playmaker. I think that needs to continue to be developed. I think he can really give them help off the bench this year, with this roster…

    Ultimately, I don’t think the Lakers defense will be good enough to get them in this year, but I think they’ll be very improved, and at least fun to watch

    • FormerlyZ

      ….if I had to guess win totals, I’d probably say they’re somewhere in the 32-42 range, likely in the middle of that somewhere, being in the West…obviously, barring injuries to them/other teams

  16. Alec Payne

    This seasons lakers really do have a chance of making the playoffs. With how their young players and bench is playing I can see them flirting with being a .500 team. Just getting there after last season is a incredible improvement and especially if they do make the playoffs getting that new experience for all those young players on the team. I also think D’Angelo Russell is a future superstar and the next great laker to lead us to greatness hopefully soon!

  17. Andy from NM

    I believe that the Lakers are more than capable of making the post season but the only question is consistency. Consistency will play a huge part of the development of this young core as they, obviously, have the ability to defeat a top-tier team but may lack chemistry or confidence going forward. If the guys can learn each other, in and out, then they can definitely make the 8th seed or better.
    Randle is a double-double machine as I agree with Walton bringing Clarkson off the bench, which improves a spark for everyone else. If Russell can bring his amazing passing to light more often and Ingram can be consistent from the perimeter, these young Lakers can hold a record better than. 500. Nance Jr., Deng, Williams, and Mozgov will do their part as Calderon, Young, and Huertas can really become catalysts if the rhythm is on point. I predict, if not an 8th seed or better, a record of 41-41 for our only hopes of Lakers futures.

  18. Cjh927

    I just love how much the bench has been producing for us so far. Clarkson Williams Ingram Nance and TBlack have been a great unit so far. At this point, we shouldn’t be focused on making the playoffs as much as we should be worried on improving like we have been.

  19. Bob kirkeby

    Last year the worst player in the league took the most shots getting rid of Kobe taking terrible shops is worth 10 games. Last year Scott was a terrible coach he’s gone game five games. The young players have developed worth 10 games . This year’s Lakers will win 25 games over last year at least.

  20. I won’t be happy with 25 win!!!!hat good about that? consider it better season we need to win 32 games 40% of the game comparing to 21% last year.. i hope we win 60 but I don’t think they able to..

  21. Kingsly

    BI Is the new Tayshaun Prince WITH HANDLES. Ingram’s calling card….DEFENSE & on-court smarts. Besides….. he’s got that “sleepy looking” coolness of Sam Perkins. Pretty good supporting player yo our energetic, athletic group.

    The players WILL lnock down walls for Luke. Especially after the stench of Byron’s coaching. These young player WANT to repay Luke…with the hard work.

    I am also told that its Lou Williams who is the STRONG & RESPECTED VOICE in the locker room.

  22. Kingsly

    So 46 games…we will play .565 ball, i.e. winning 56.5% of the remaining 76 games = 43 more wins, plus the three already won = 46 wins.

    Do-able! We have had three TERRIBLE coaches prior to Luke. Luke is eons better than Brown, D’Antoni & Byron. Besides having BShaw at his sides makes it even better.

  23. Richard

    Just my .02:

    Yes, Luke is a great HC. Did great last yr @ GS for S. Kerr, who was out for awhile. He will do positive things to help this young Lakers squad. Let’s look @ the Top West Teams:

    1) GSW (Obvious)
    2) Clippers (Doing good so far)
    3) OKC (Surprise?)
    4) TrailBlazers (Yep!)
    5) Jazz (Yep; both PDX and Utah have improved)
    6) Spurs (They slip; too old/inconsistent)

    So, leaves the last 2 playoff spots. Who? Well, Houston and/or Memphis could claim; I’d pick the Rox for one of the last seedings. Memphis is a wait/see team. Sac Kings? MAYBE. Probably not, but…

    Teams I’d NOT pick to win/make the playoffs: T’wolves, Suns, Nuggets, Mavs (too old; will regret that Barnes signing this yr), NOP (move ’em to Seattle!!!)

    So, could the Lakers make that 8th or even 7th seed? Depends on how much Coach Walton can squeeze out of this team. Wouldn’t say no; just depends on can they stay healthy/focused, and how other teams fare as well. Happens alot in sports; teams “sneak” in despite the odds. One thing is: Lakers DO have a good balance of young players and vets. So, it’ll be an interesting season to watch. I would not be surprised to see them make an 8th seed with a record of 42-40 or 44-38. Just my .02, again….thanks!

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