The Los Angeles Lakers’ playoff hopes suffered a huge blow this past week when LeBron James got injured.
The 38-year-old’s estimated return date lines up very poorly with what L.A. needs to do to qualify for the postseason.
That said, the team’s coaching staff still seems to have its eyes on the prize.
And according to NBA insider Brian Windhorst, the Lakers know exactly who they want in the playoffs – if they can get there.
“The reason that Darvin Ham is talking about (the sixth seed) is that they’re targeting the Sacramento Kings,” Windhorst said on “Get Up” this week.
“The Sacramento Kings are in third and I think they’re very likely to finish third. That’s the team (the Lakers) want in the first round. They’re an inexperienced team.
“That’s their dream scenario. If you’re a Laker fan, you’re dreaming of somehow getting to sixth against the Kings because you could end up in a tougher situation if you fall elsewhere on the bracket.”
Obviously a lot needs to align for Los Angeles to even get into the playoffs at this point. Yes, they had a ton of momentum following the NBA Trade Deadline – but it all came to a screeching halt with James’ injury.
But it’s hard to see either man having a material impact on their season.
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For the Lakers, the only chance they seem to have at making a run sans James is Anthony Davis staying extremely healthy and then playing at an MVP-level consistently for the next six weeks.
The odds are likely against both of those things coming to fruition.
The Lakers want the Kings in the playoffs. Will they even be able to make the playoffs, though? Time will tell.