Lakers

Lakers Tasked with Daunting March Schedule

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The Lakers have been on top of the Western Conference essentially all season long. While the Lakers’ schedule hasn’t been all that tough over the past two months, the same can’t be said for their upcoming schedule; the Lakers have an abundance of tough games in March. Stretches like these make you thankful that the Lakers are the best Western Conference team when it comes to beating under-.500 teams. They win a vast majority of the games that they should, and other contending teams haven’t had the same success that the Lakers have had against the lower-tier teams in the league; this is why they currently have a 5.5-game lead in the conference. That makes the pressure of this next month significantly lower, but it is still a very important stretch nonetheless.

Either way, the Lakers have put themselves in a great position heading into March. They don’t need to be perfect for the purpose of keeping the top seed, but they definitely would like to have some memorable, confidence-building performances against the toughest teams in the league.

The Introduction

  • 03/01: @ Pelicans (26-35) W 122-114
  • 03/03: vs. 76ers (37-25) W 120-107

The month started off with two winnable games and the Lakers took care of business. The Lakers have been one of the best teams in the league when it comes to games they should win. The Pelicans are a very exciting team to watch, but the Lakers are simply the far-better squad.

The 76ers were handicapped in this game, giving the Lakers the comfortable advantage heading into this one. Brett Brown was without Embiid, Simmons and Richardson on Tuesday night, making a game against the Lakers far harder than it already would’ve been.

Under the Lights

  • 03/06: vs. Bucks (52-9)
  • 03/08: @ Clippers (42-19)
  • 03/10: vs. Nets (27-33)
  • 03/12: vs. Rockets (39-21)
  • 03/15: vs. Nuggets (41-20)
  • 03/16: @ Jazz (38-22)
  • 03/18: vs. Jazz (38-22)

The Lakers have a ridiculous 13-day stretch starting with the top dogs of the league. All eyes are on the Lakers as they set their sights on proving that they can handle the league’s elite teams. Five of these seven games will be nationally televised. I don’t think anybody is doubting that the Lakers deserve their top spot in the conference, but they haven’t had great success against other contending teams this year. Against the Bucks, Celtics, Raptors, Clippers, Nuggets and Rockets, the Lakers have a record of 4-7. Winning five of these would be fantastic. It won’t be necessary for the purpose of maintaining the top seed should the Lakers continue their dominance over under-.500 teams, but it would be a huge statement nonetheless.

The Cool-Down

  • 03/21: @ Hornets
  • 03/22: @ Pistons
  • 03/24: @ Raptors
  • 03/26: @ Cavaliers
  • 03/28: @ Wizards
  • 03/30: @ Timberwolves

When you look at this six-game stretch to end the month, it’s apparent that there is only one game that the Lakers should bother worrying about — March 24th in Toronto. The Lakers are tied with the Bucks for the best road record, but a six-game road trip is never easy — especially after the gauntlet that the Lakers will have to go through in the two weeks prior. In reality, the Lakers should still win at least five of these games. If they lose in Toronto, nobody will be too shocked, but the other five are very winnable games.

The Lakers’ schedule in April is relatively easy — especially when compared to March — and they will be in a really good spot if they can come out of March with at least a three-game lead in the standings.

Even if the team only has a lead of one or two games, six of its final nine games are against under-.500 teams. 

All in all, the Lakers’ upcoming schedule isn’t going to be easy, but it’s nothing they can’t handle. They’re in a great spot to secure the top seed in the Western Conference and we’re all in a great spot to sit back and watch some very entertaining basketball.

Follow us on Twitter @LakersLead for the latest Lakers news and insight.

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About Zach Cunningham

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