With only a few games left in the 2022-23 regular season, the Lakers find themselves in the middle of a chaotic Western Conference playoff race.
The Nuggets, Grizzlies and Kings seem to be safe at the top of the West standings, but several teams below them are fighting for the remaining playoff and Play-In Tournament spots.
That means every game down the stretch will matter for Los Angeles. One win or loss could prove to be the difference between securing a postseason berth or heading into the offseason earlier than expected.
Here’s a closer look at how LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers fit into the NBA Playoff picture.
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NBA standings 2023
(Current as of March 25)
*clinched NBA Playoff berth
Eliminated from NBA Playoff contention: Rockets, Spurs
Lakers upcoming schedule
The Lakers have the fifth-easiest remaining schedule strength in the league, per Tankathon. They will play three of their final eight games at Crypto.com Arena.
|March 26||vs. Bulls||3:30 p.m.|
|March 29||at Bulls||8 p.m.|
|March 31||at Timberwolves||8 p.m.|
|April 2||at Rockets||7 p.m.|
|April 4||at Jazz||9 p.m.|
|April 5||at Clippers||10 p.m.|
|April 7||vs. Suns||10:30 p.m.|
|April 9||vs. Jazz||3:30 p.m.|
Lakers NBA Playoff odds
As of March 25, the Lakers have a 61 percent chance of making the 2023 NBA Playoffs, according to FiveThirtyEight’s projections.
Los Angeles has significantly lower odds on Basketball Reference’s playoff probabilities report, which gives the team a 47,6 percent chance to reach the playoffs.
NBA Playoff bracket 2023
Here’s what the NBA Playoff matchups would be if the regular season ended today:
(1) Nuggets vs. (8) Play-In Winner
(2) Grizzlies vs. (7) Play-In Winner
(3) Kings vs. (6) Warriors
(4) Suns vs. (5) Clippers
NBA Play-In Tournament bracket 2023
Here’s what the NBA Play-In Tournament matchups would be if the regular season ended today:
(7) Timberwolves vs. (8) Lakers
(9) Pelicans vs. (10) Thunder
When do the NBA Playoffs start?
- Play-In Tournament: April 11-14
- NBA Playoffs: April 15
The 2022-23 NBA regular season will end on Sunday, April 9. The 2023 NBA Play-In Tournament will begin on Tuesday, April 11.
The first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs will start four days later on Saturday, April 15.
How will the 2023 NBA Playoffs work?
- The NBA Play-In Tournament will be held after the conclusion of the 2022-23 regular season and before the start of the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs. The teams that finish Nos. 1-6 in the standings of each conference will be guaranteed playoff spots. Teams Nos. 7-10 will enter the Play-In Tournament.
- Each conference’s Nos. 7 and 8 teams will face off, with the winner earning the No. 7 seed in the playoffs. The loser will still have one more opportunity to reach the playoffs.
- Each conference’s Nos. 9 and 10 teams will face off, with the winner advancing to play the loser of the No. 7-vs.-No. 8 game. The loser of the No. 9-vs.-No. 10 game will be eliminated from playoff contention.
- The loser of the No. 7-vs.-No. 8 game and the winner of the No. 9-vs.-No. 10 game will then play against each other. The winner of that game will be the No. 8 seed in the playoffs. The loser will be eliminated from playoff contention.
- Beyond the Play-In Tournament, the 2023 NBA Playoffs will follow the typical format, with full best-of-seven series all the way through the NBA Finals.