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Breaking down Lakers path to the NBA playoffs

We take a look at the Lakers schedule for the second half and how tough it will be for them to win the Western Conference.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers calls out a play against the Washington Wizards during the second quarter at Staples Center on February 22, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers appear to be limping into the second half of the season and the NBA All-Star break. The team has a pretty good excuse considering both Anthony Davis (calf) and Dennis Schroder (health protocols) have been sidelined the last few weeks. LeBron James has done his best job to carry the team, though that hasn’t been enough during a four-game losing streak entering Wednesday night’s game vs. the Utah Jazz. As a result, the Lakers may need to make up some ground in the second half. We’re going to take at their schedule and path to the 2021 NBA Playoffs.

Los Angeles Lakers second half schedule

In the second half of the season, the Lakers play 17 of 35 games against teams that are playoff caliber. This isn’t necessarily every team in playoff position, but teams we would consider locks to make the postseason. So that’s roughly half of their games, which makes their schedule relatively tough. Here’s a breakdown of some of the games against elite opponents.

Phoenix Suns: 2
Los Angeles Clippers: 2
Utah Jazz: 2
Brooklyn Nets: 1
Philadelphia 76ers: 1
Milwaukee Bucks: 1

So really, if we’re looking at games against the top 3-4 teams in each conference, the Lakers only have 9 games against those teams. Los Angeles would likely need to come out on top in these matchups and go at least 5-4, specifically beating the Jazz and Clips, to get to the No. 1 seed. Perhaps the best part of the second half schedule is the Lakers’ last four games: New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers and New Orleans Pelicans. Those are four games that will be pretty winnable if the Lakers are at full strength.