Suns pick via the Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers:
The Lakers have 12 games still on their schedule, with only Thursday’s game against Milwaukee being against an Eastern Conference opponent. Six of the games for L.A. are at STAPLES Center (plus the one “away” game against the Clippers) while the other five games are on the road. For Suns fans it is a good sign that seven of the final 12 games are against current playoff teams.
Kobe needs the Lakers to get into the playoffs so he can will them to a championship . . . oh, I mean a first-round sweep.
I predict the Lakers to go 5-7 to finish out their schedule for a final record of 41-41.
Utah has 12 games left on their slate with two games this week against the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets as the only times when they’ll play an Eastern Conference opponent. Fortunately for Suns fans, the Jazz have eight games at home with only four away from Salt Lake City, but home court advantage doesn’t mean much to a team who has lost 12 of its last 15 games since the trade deadline. Utah plays five games against playoff teams during this final stretch.
Utah needs to make a final run at the postseason before they lose some of their players to free agency and have to start the rebuilding process over again.
I predict the Jazz to go 6-6 in their last 12 games for a final record of 40-42.
Dallas has 12 games left on their slate, with games Thursday and Saturday against Indiana and Chicago being the only ones against Eastern Conference opponents. The Mavericks have seven games at home and five games on the road in this final stretch of the season. Unfortunately for the Suns, seven of those games are also against current teams set to play in the postseason.
Dallas wants to make the playoffs, if only for owner Mark Cuban to get to gloat over the Lakers organization. They have to hurry if they want to get Dirk Nowitzki another ring, but have a rising star in O.J. Mayo in the wings to take over.
I predict Dallas to go 7-5 in these games and to finish with a 41-41 record.
Portland has 12 games left on their schedule with only Wednesday’s game versus Brooklyn as the only one against an Eastern Conference opponent. The Trailblazers play eight of their final stretch of games at home with four being on the road. Nine of those games are against playoff teams.
Portland doesn’t have a chance this year, but their potential rookie of the year point guard Damian Lillard will improve that team in a couple years.
I predict the Trailblazers to finish 2-10 for a final record of 35-47.
With this said, Dallas is the only viable candidate to take the Los Angeles Lakers out of the eighth spot in the West, if they win in L.A. on April 2nd, and have more in-conference wins to break the tiebreaker.
It seems like the Lakers will probably enter the playoffs with their entire roster (which is old and with only a handful of guys playing all the minutes) tired out because they barely got in and couldn’t rest any of them as they get swept in the first round by either the San Antonio Spurs or the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Suns fans need to root for the Utah Jazz and the Dallas Mavericks to win as many games as humanly possible and for the Los Angeles Lakers to completely implode (not as far-fetched as you would think) if Phoenix is to get their middle-first round draft choice.