Will Lakers make the 2024 NBA Playoffs? What to know about LA’s schedule and Play-In Tournament projections

The Lakers are no strangers to the Play-In Tournament.

In 2021, Los Angeles defeated Golden State in the first round of the competition to earn the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. Two years later, the Lakers earned the No. 7 seed once again, this time by taking down the Timberwolves.

The Lakers still have a chance of finishing the 2023-24 season with a top-six record, but it’s looking more likely by the day that they will have to once again fight for their playoff lives in the Play-In Tournament. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the Lakers’ playoff chances in the final weeks of the season.

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Updated Western Conference standings

At 41-33, the Lakers have the ninth-best record in the Western Conference. They currently lead the Warriors in 10th place by 1.5 games and trail the Kings in eighth place by 1.5 games.

You can find the full Western Conference playoff picture below.

Records through Friday, March 29.

Rank Team Record GB
1 Timberwolves 51-22
2 Thunder 51-22
3 Nuggets 51-23 0.5
4 Clippers 46-27 5
5 Pelicans 45-28 6
6 Mavericks 44-29 7
7 Suns 43-31 8.5
8 Kings 42-31 9
9 Lakers 41-33 10.5
10 Warriors 39-34 12
Rockets 38-35 13

Lakers remaining schedule

The Lakers have eight games left in the season, five of which are on the road.

Los Angeles has the sixth-easiest schedule remaining in the NBA, according to Tankathon, which calculates the combined winning percentage of a team’s remaining opponents. Tankathon’s strength of schedule does not account for where games are played.

The Lakers’ next three games are against teams with losing records.

Some more good news for Los Angeles: Phoenix has the toughest remaining schedule, per Tankathon. The Suns also have eight games remaining in their season, only every single matchup is against teams with a winning record.

You can find the rest of the Lakers’ 2023-24 schedule below.

Date Opponent Time (ET) TV channel
March 31 at Nets 6 p.m.
April 2 at Raptors 7 p.m.
April 3 at Wizards 7 p.m.
April 6 vs. Cavaliers 3:30 p.m.
April 7 vs. Timberwolves 10 p.m.
April 9 vs. Warriors 10 p.m.
April 12 at Grizzlies 8 p.m.
April 14 at Pelicans 3:30 p.m.

MORE: What LeBron James said about his status for rest of NBA season

Lakers NBA Playoffs and Play-In Tournament projections

As of March 28, the Lakers have a 40.8 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to Basketball-Reference’s Playoff Probabilities Report.

Based on Basketball Reference’s simulations, the most likely outcome for the Lakers is finishing the regular season as the No. 9 seed (36.0 percent chance) and earning the No. 8 seed (23.7 percent) in the NBA Playoffs via the Play-In Tournament.

The Ringer gives the Lakers a 95 percent chance of making the Play-In Tournament and a 39 percent chance of making the playoffs.

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