Blogtable: Last Call On The Lakers

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


Week 24: Can Knicks give Miami a run? | Needing, using the top pick | Last call: Are Lakers in or out?


Once and for all, do the Lakers make the playoffs or not?

Steve Aschburner: Lakers are in. C’mon, after Wednesday, they have only three nicely spaced-out home games remaining, against teams with rest-and-recuperate agendas. Utah has to navigate a tricky home-and-home with feisty Minnesota, which still might be looking for a positive end to a dreary season. And oh yeah – there’s the furnace blast of Kobe Bryant‘s it’s-not-over-till-he-says-it’s-over will. The Commish will not have to settle for his final postseason sans Lakers.

Fran Blinebury: No. Every time the Lakers have looked ready to take the next step, it winds up being off another cliff.

Kobe Bryant (by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant (by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE)

Jeff Caplan: Hey L.A., at least the Clippers are in. As amazing as Kobe’s around-the-clock performances are, the Lakers will rue just one of their many ugly losses. The Jazz own the tiebreaker so L.A. must finish a game up. After pulling off a grueling home win against the Hornets, the Lakers must play Wednesday night (L.A. hasn’t swept a back-to-back all season) at Portland where they’ve won four times in the last 10 years (0-1 this season). Then there’s the remaining three games. Yes, L.A. gets them all at home, but against a Golden State team fighting to hold onto the sixth seed, San Antonio (take a guess as to which starters Gregg Popovich will or won’t play with the No. 1 seed unsettled) and then Houston, which wants Golden State’s sixth seed to avoid the Spurs and Thunder in the first round. Utah’s final three? Home-and-home against Minnesota and then at Memphis, which might or might not have anything to play for. Give me the Jazz.

Scott Howard-Cooper: They make the playoffs, but I don’t have a good reason to think that. My reason is that it is impossible to imagine them not making it. Even this late, even after everything. Incomprehensible. Plus, I like their home-heavy schedule to finish, and the Jazz are not exactly the most trustworthy bunch going either.

John Schuhmann: I really have no idea, because neither the Lakers nor Jazz can be relied upon to win the games they’re supposed to. The Lakers barely beat the Hornets at home on Tuesday. Even with the urgency of a playoff push, both L.A. and Utah have been below average defensive teams since the All-Star break, giving any opponent a chance on any given night. But I’ll guess that the Lakers go 2-2 and the Jazz go 2-1, making Utah my pick. Either way, I’ll be riveted by every game these two teams play until the 8 seed is decided.

Sekou Smith: I’ve done more waffling on this one over the past two months than I’m ready to admit. I think the Lakers’ season on the brink goes over the edge this time and they miss out on the playoffs. And it has more to do with the Jazz rising up and making their own late charge for that eighth and final spot in the Western Conference than it does anything the Lakers have or have not been able to get done down the stretch run of the regular season. The Lakers had every opportunity to seize control of that spot and couldn’t handle the responsibility.

73 Comments

  1. Max says:

    Why do you think “POP” rest this bigs at SAS? Remember when MAVS were in 1st place and open the playoffs against GSW??? The 8th team becomes very “rabid”. If Lakers make or the Jazz who had the # 1 team rather face in the first round????Not out yet!!

  2. dink says:

    lakers will finish tied with the jazz , but jazz will get in because they own the tiebreaker , too bad nba , your precious lakers stunk it up all season and don’t deserve to be in , hats off to the Utah jazz , loved those 90’s teams of Stockton Malone etc.. lakers are in for extreme makeover this offseason , nash will buyout/retire , pau will get traded for a case of Gatorade most likely considering his dropping value , howard will leave via free agency , and that leaves kobe wondering wtf ??? gonna be a crazy offseason

  3. matt says:

    #MAMBA

  4. dattebayo says:

    I didn’t think the Lakers had a shot at the playoffs, but you gotta give it to Kobe. He sure is bustin’ his behind just to get swept out of the 1st Round :)

    Of course it helps, if the refs call every touch foul for Kobe and Howard, while they can hook, claw and hit people on defense with no repercussions…

  5. This bruno from BORAT says:

    I love to see lakers VS OKC… Durant will send kobe fishing again…. Dwight will cry again… kobe will blame the whole lakers organization… as usual nothing new there…. laker fans will go jump to bandwagon mode again… sore losers…..get a life….

  6. NBAfan says:

    The Lakers have 3 play off teams to play in their last 3 games (GSW, SAS, and HOU)

    The Jazz have two games with the lowly MIN and finally MEM.

    The Lakers are 1 game up on the Jazz.

    I think it’s very clear that if the Lakers do manage to make the playoffs, it’s because they earned it by beating 3 playoff teams, one of which is the top seed.

    The thing is, IF they beat SAS, that might make OKC the top seed and then they face OKC in the first round, and they just don’t match up well with OKC simply because of their PG problems and Westbrook just kills them all the time!!!

  7. of course Lakers make the playoffs says:

    Wow the no call on Lillards drive with dwight’s block where he hurt his leg. So many plays the officials make for the Lakers

  8. of course Lakers make the playoffs says:

    Again tonight, terrible loose ball call and a no call on push by pau…. Changing possessions and the losing the lead for the BLazers… but look at all the Kobe Jerseys in P Town. Disgraceful. If you love Kobe and you don’t live in LA you should keep it to yourself.

  9. Mc24 says:

    The big problem of lakers is their coach because even he was in NY who had a young & talented team he can’t bring them even to second round playoff team,now he uses Kobe too much…what are you doing D’Antoni????!!!!!

  10. Sam says:

    As an avid Jazz fan I’d like to point out that the Jazz beat the Spurs in Swat Lake City and took them to OT in San Antonio 2 weeks ago. The Jazz match up much better against the aging Spurs than they do against OKC, which is why I want the Spurs to hold on the the fist seed cause the Jazz will be the 8. Unless the league and the refs get in the way. More power to small market teams!

  11. El guapo says:

    Jazz will win

  12. sportsfan says:

    Whether or not the Lakers are getting help from the refs is a moot point, they’re going to miss the playoffs anyway since they’ll go 1-3 their last 4 games. If the Jazz go 1-2 then that’s going to leave the door open for the Mavs.

  13. Wow... says:

    jazz don’t deserve the 8th spot. i would rather have dallas take the 8th seed.

  14. Albert says:

    The ball is round. Nobody could tell who will make it but i trust LA could make despite playing playoffs teams and that is the challenge. If Utah will drop of their games and lakers should make 3 of 5 to be rewarded an eight spot in the west and probably will play OKC in the first round which is tough.Goodluck lakers.

  15. TS says:

    To whom it may concern. I notice “NBA Playoff” banners on television which show different players that will do battle in the playoffs. A common one I see is Kobe Bryant representing the Lakers in the playoffs. Why oh why have I not seen Al Jefferson representing the Utah Jazz in one of these playoff advertisements? Is it because the refs will make sure the Lakers make the playoffs by helping them win? Letting Laker players hack away and not get fouls drawn? And on the flipside the Lakers get to shoot many free throws on phantom fouls by their opponents? I see much favoritism by league officials during Laker games, and the league promoting the Lakers for the playoffs while completely ignoring Utah should prove my observation to be correct.

    • Nick C says:

      It’s very telling how many people know this thing is rigged. Stern and his goons will do everything in their power to make sure LAL makes it to the playoffs.

      When Utah played at Golden State, the Jazz played 32 minutes without shooting a single free throw. Their first free throw attempt came with 4:30 remaining in the 3rd quarter.

      This tied the franchise record for second lowest FTA in a game in Jazz history.

  16. the real king james says:

    mavs will take no.8 seed winning all of their remaining games, utah going 1-2 & lakers 1-3

  17. Karlo Garcia says:

    Lakers will miss the playoffs. Will win 1 out of 3 remaining games.

  18. Andy says:

    C’mon Aschburner. Tell me which remaining Laker opponent has a “rest and recuperate” agenda. Is it the Rockets or the Warriors who are fighting for the 6 spot to avoid the Thunder and Spurs in the first round? Or is it the Spurs who are trying to keep their half game lead over the Thunder for the last 4 games?

  19. psuedohoax says:

    The problem is, both the Lakers and Jazz are extremely unpredictable right now – and so are their opponents! Who knows what will happen?? Did anyone predict Utah spanking Golden state on the road, or the Lakers gutty win against Memphis?

    But if you want to talk about who “deserves” it, that would be Utah. They’ve actually beaten the Spurs this season, and had a big victory against OKC… as well as Miami, and of course they’re 4-1 against the Lakers (including 2 pre-season wins). Even got their coach fired! So how are the Lakers more “deserving”?

  20. Unfortunately my script had the tiebreaker reversed, systematically giving LA the advantage in case of a tie. When corrected, the Laker’s probability of making the Playoffs drops from 74% to 50.1%.
    The drama continues….

  21. clo says:

    we will make it we hav sum fake la fan out there forget all yall

  22. Anthony says:

    I am
    the greatest Laker fan from the BAHAMAS , looking at pit through the eyes of faith . the Way the L A Lakers are playing they cannot win over the remainder of teams before the playoff begin . so I say, l
    would like to see them make it to the playoff, but they are not hungry enough, and they are not playing hard enough

  23. Big Al says:

    It’s gonna be a dark age for the NBA if the Lakers don’t make it. I know that it’s their own fault why they’re in this predicament anyway, but it is injustice to Kobe not to get to the playoffs. He has devoted literally half his life in the league and is still about 95% of his peak. His play is a work of art. That alone is reason enough why his team shouldn’t be packing up for the summer. The Jazz doesn’t have that kind of talent, and the whole team is unexciting in every way. But they have much easier games left. If they win both games against the Wolves, LA needs to take at least three victories. The Portland game is a must-win, but the Lakers have some sort of curse in the Blazers stadium. Then there are the Spurs, Rockets and Warriors, not unbeatable but certainly big thorns getting in their way.

  24. of course Lakers make the playoffs says:

    Multiple games in the Lakers recent winning phase have been decided by crucial calls/no-calls in their favor. I would like to see league wide DOC/DONC statistics on this, W/L decided on calls/non-calls. I think that the statistic would indicate that good teams have a much higher success rate with officials. This is not to suggest rigging but rather pedigree.

    GO RANDY FOYE dataBOyie

  25. chandler says:

    it all comes down to tie breaker. jaz have it so there in. no way in heck lakers will win out

  26. Antony says:

    im a laker fan,i want the lakers in the playoffs,but at the same time dont,because jazz or lakers dont have a chance to win the first round,this is more like a whos gona be out of the playoffs in the first round,i believe in kobe gasol nash howard but i dont think this year the lakers gona do something

  27. Jdub says:

    I say Lakeshow makes it in, if only because the refs have been doing everything within their power to push’em in. I mean have you seen any close game with the Lakers? It’s hard to win when you gotta score buckets against uncalled laker fouls while Lakers get freebies at the line for phantom touches.

  28. Basketball Genius says:

    I am a die hard Laker fan. The truth of the matter is nobody knows. It is hard to say that my Lakers will make the playoff because the defense is inconsistent and the offense is at the worst (so please bring Phil Jackosn back). But one thing I am sure of, if the Lakers make the playoff (which means beating three playoff teams in a row and adding confidence to them), it would be hard for Spurs or OKC to beat them that easily and there is a greater chance for them to be upset.

  29. James T. says:

    As someone who is a fan of the Jazz (yes we do exist). As much as I would like to see the Jazz make the playoffs, they simply need draft picks to become better (it’s not like free agents come to SLC). They can’t keep being the eighth seed every year and expect to improve. The Lakers remind of the Jordan’s Washington Wizards, just battling for a playoff spot etc. Having said all this, I think the Jazz will qualify due to the tiebreaker.

    • Ingo says:

      The ninth western team has 0.5% chance of winning the lottery. What is the difference between the 16th pick and the 10th-15th pick? Better to make the playoffs to show potential free agents Utah is usually a playoffs team otherwise tank like Magic or Bobcats.

  30. skrutz says:

    I wonder why anyone even wants them in the playoffs? They haven’t done anything in the playoffs for the past couple years, and the fact they have to push so hard just to get past Utah makes me think it won’t be any different.

  31. Ol' Dirty says:

    Everyone is saying how LA is going to make the play offs “because its better for ratings” but f#@k that we’re making it because our team is the best, we fear no one in the west and we sure as hell don’t fear miami

    LA!!!

    • Dcon says:

      I think the jazz are in. They played close to OKC last night and almost won it despite not having 3 crucial bench guys. I see them going 3-0 the rest of the way. Though I’m more worried about the @ Minnosota game than I am the @Memphis game…There is no way they lose the Memphis game, unless they clinch the playoff spot before and rest.

      As for possible opponent, they’d rather play the Spurs…they’re injured, and the jazz match up better. I think they could win 2 games against them, maybe push them to 7 depending on the circumstances.

    • AM says:

      You don’t have to fear them, the Lakers are not going to see them because they will be swept in the first round

    • nbafanhere says:

      LOL yeah right, if your team is the best then they should be atleast number 1 in the west right now, they’re not even a good team, Jazz got not superstar but they’re tied with the Lakers, Lakers got 4 big names on that team and can’t even make it to the playoffs.

    • skrutz says:

      The Lakers should fear just about everyone, seeing as how they can’t get anywhere

  32. deJavu says:

    If lakers wont reach the 8th spot…the earlier dumbtoni can kick his butt out of here..

  33. BOOMSHAKALAKAOMTHERFVCKA says:

    LAKERS GOT THIS!!!

  34. KBGREAT says:

    THE lakers will rule the world sweeping every team in the playoffs because they will fire d’antoni and get phil Jackson back.

  35. Brydon says:

    The Lakers have 8 players on the floor at all times, so they’ll probably make it. Not past the first round though.

  36. nbafanhere says:

    if the Jazz win the 2 Minnesota games and Grizzlies would probably rest their starters then it’s over for the Lakers.. I bet Spurs would play the starters vs the Lakers to eliminate them making Jazz their opponent(which is way easier)Rockets and Golden state are avoiding the Thunder so they will have to play it all out vs the Lakers to secure the 6th spot.. Blazers tonight is well rested and Kobe Bryant is tired.. if they miss the playoffs that would be a bad thing on Kobe Bryant’s Resume for being GOAT.

    • Codell says:

      Kobe was never the goat any ways he is a top 20 player all time, and that is still amazing!

      • J.D. says:

        Are you serious guy? he may not be the greatest of all time but he definetly in the conversation. When anyone says Michael Jordan name, you have to consider Kobe Bryant, and Lebron James. You should go kill yourself saying he is on the the top 20 greatest players. However, his stats and acommplishments has proven that he can be conisdered one of the best that ever played the game and he havent even retired yet. 5 rings, 1 MVP, Over 13X allstar, and 4th in overall scoring. Go kill your self guy

  37. Lakers' fanboy says:

    i really want to trust my lakers…but that schedule of theirs are scary. goldenstate warriors, spurs and houston rockets. dont even talk about tonight….tonight and last night might be the easiest game they can have out of these 5 games. Good luck Mamba.

  38. Stanley says:

    I believe the Lakers will make it, I don’t think they will make it through the first round, but I believe a SPurs vs Lakers match up would be more entertaining than a Spurs vs Utah match up, well that’s if the Spurs end up with the first spot.

  39. Taking into account opponents’ strengths and home court advantage for the upcoming games, Lakers have almost a 75% chance of grabbing the final 8th spot!
    http://statisticator.blogspot.com/2013/04/drama-in-lakerland-continues.html

  40. Iago says:

    At this point I think it’s clearly up to the Jazz who gets the last playoffs seed. They have the tiebreaker and arguably a less demanding agenda BUT as it’s been pointed out the Jazz aren’t playing great basketball either so… i guess everything remains to be seen yet. In a coherent world lakers’ talent should prevail but then again they wouldn’t be fighting for the last spot if that were the case.

  41. W/E says:

    No way, Lakers are gunna get referee aid and they are gunna make it to the playoffs for sure, the league wants the lakers to make it to the playoffs and not Utah for obvious reasons.

  42. Patty says:

    KOBE BRYANT IS THE REASON THE LAKERS WILL WIN.

    • LakersWILLnotMAKEit says:

      Allthough I will admit a lot of people are right on here….Utah vs Spurs or OKC will be really boring. At least the lakers have tons of drama and make things interesting and give some good entertainment. They are full of humerous drama especially in the playoffs and with this years lineup it would be one for the ages. Say they get to play OKC? Oh man that would be fun to watch Dwightmare get blocked and dominated by Serge and watching westbrook frustrate the entire team would be worth my ticket right there. I don’t think they will make it though unless the nba steps in and makes it happen with the refs. Which is possible. Nba looses tons of money if Lakers are out think about it

  43. LALKB24 says:

    A Laker fan here… I bleed Purple and Gold… BUT, i really don’t want Lakers in Playoffs because they don’t deserve to be in. Given the talent on court and with all the injuries, I think they should have easily been a 5th or 6th seed.

    Just no defensive energy in this offensive minded all star team… Dont want them to go to playoffs. Lesson learnt Lakers…

    • Mytownla says:

      As a TRUE Laker fan i must say you are by far the WORST fan of any team i have ever seen. Please stop calling yourself a Laker fan because you sir are nothing but a fraud. Fans are 100% supportive of thier teams no matter what they are going through, you should always wish the best for them, and hoping that LA wint make the playoffs is NOT supporting at all. Go be a fan of some other team, Lakernation sees you as nothing but a fake smh idiot

  44. John says:

    Hard to imagine the Jazz losing 2 of the remaining 3 games considering 2 games are against a struggling Minnesota team. The Lakers however have to face Golden State, San Antonio, and Houston for their final 3 games and all of these teams have reason to play hard with the standard starting lineup. While Golden State and Houston are battling for the 6th seed, San Antonio would be doing everyone including themselves a favor by eliminating the Lakers hopes of making playoffs. The Spurs would obviously have an advantage playing against the Jazz as opposed to Kobe and the Lakers. Of course despite all this, the Lakers could still make the playoffs, but the odds are definitely not in their favor. Not to mention they just barely managed to get past the Hornets last night.

  45. KB24 says:

    I trust in number 24 but not in the rest of the team, nevertheless in the coach…

    • Patty says:

      KB24, I AGREE WITH YOU. THE COACH OF THE LAKERS NEED TO GO.

      • Okay... says:

        OMG! thank you. in my opinion hes the worst coach for this team… or any team… look at my knicks who were a below playoff team with d and after went 18-5.

  46. .. says:

    DOROTHY:

    Learn to write P-L-E-A-S-E!!!!!!

    • Dorothy says:

      I can actually write very well for your information. The post was simply a message I had sent to my brother earlier on facebook, I just cut and pasted it when I saw this blogtable debate. I actually corrected some of the mistakes , not all though. I wasn’t aware we had grammatical experts on this post too……

  47. Jim says:

    Of course they’re in,The refs and Stern wouldn’t have it any other way.Besides this jazz team is the definiton of mediocrity why would anyone want to see UTAvs SAS or UTAvs OKC both of those rounds would be 4 spanking in a row.At least La has the oppurtinity to win 1 or 2 gamea and make a series out of those matchups

    • Dorothy says:

      I love your positivity, lets pray Portland gives us the gift of life tonight!!

    • Lakers Heat says:

      Im a lakers fan but i think the Jazz will make it thru this time. The lakers have to win them all to get in and they wont. They wont beat any team in the playoffs anyway. Everyone is pretty much healthy but the Lakers are still not doing good. Dwight Bryant and Gasol alone should dominate the team and make everyone else on the team look good. The bench look bad and they’re not winning so what’s wrong? Two words….Bad Coaching.. Get the triangle offense back please!

    • JJ says:

      Agreed, no way Lakers are out, the league won’t allow it.

  48. Dorothy says:

    yo its crunch time..but lukin at things..i think the lakers miss out
    +our schedule is too grueling,n if we lose tonight..which unfortunately we probably will since we havnt won back to back this season,n kobes playin heavy minutes,n Portland is rested..we screwed
    its not fair..2 ganes agains t-wolves? while we got spurs,rockest n gold state?
    damn,bu la shudnt have gotten in this mess in the first place
    but da sad part is..no one wants to see Utah in da playoffs..wat r they going to do there?
    theres no intriguing key matchup between allstars,no interesting subplots,allstars
    they aint getting to the finals
    I mean give la the chance..fine..we selfish,we know..5 rings for kobe is gud enuff..let sumone else get it
    but it wud have been funner n more beneficial for the nba if la got in the playoffs!!
    who wants to watch Utah get they butts swept by okc or spurs?
    Not me. TNT, here I come