Originally written on With Malice  |  Last updated 11/18/14
12 games to go.  LA are in 8th, 2 games ahead of Utah and Dallas in 9th/10th.  3 games behind Houston for 7th.  The smoke's beginning to clear away now, and it looks like predictions of the Lakers making the playoffs will be on the mark.  Hell... it's not like picking contenders for the Kentucky Derby - it's a pretty good bet now that the Lakers will make it. Still, the road home's not easy.  Difficult games litter the last 12.  Hosting Memphis, Dallas the Dubs and Houston... and trips to GSW (today), LAC (har-har), San Antonio and Portland.  That's 8 out of 12 difficult games, and no games on the schedule could be counted as "gimmes".  However, Utah have a tough stretch home too, and of late they've been playing truly abysmal basketball.  Dallas too have a hard road home. 7 of their games remaining are against playoff-bound teams, and only 2 games are relatively soft.  Portland?  Well... mathematically they're still in it.  But with 9 games vs very tough playoff-bound opponents, and the only non-playoff teams they face are Dallas and Utah - two teams who will be most eager to do battle.  Fuhgeddabowdit. I don't think that the Lakers can catch Houston.  Nor do I think they should want to should the standings up top remain the same.  Redolent of a few years ago (Memphis vs San Antonio), #1 San Antonio are a much better option for LA than Oklahoma.  Granted, a lot will have to go right for LA to have a chance against either... but I fancy the chances vs the Spurs far more than I do vs OKC.  Simply a better match-up for the Lakers than the fast-paced Thunder. Not a done thing yet... but given the way this season began, I'm happy where the Lakers find themselves now.  Cannot believe that too... happy for the team just to make the playoffs?  I guess this is what a Houston Rockets fan feels like!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Tom Brady: 'My feelings got hurt' in Deflategate controversy

Odell Beckham Jr. says he played with two hamstring tears

Report: A-Rod apologized to new MLB commissioner

Pete Carroll empathizes with Belichick, Pats in Deflategate

Max Scherzer thanks Tigers with full page newspaper ad

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ray Lewis: Patriots should have asterisk for cheating

Report: Cavs players believed team lacked depth

Richard Sherman calls out Kraft, Goodell over their friendship

Brandon Jennings to miss 6-9 months with Achilles injury

Report: Josh Gordon tests positive for alcohol

Report: Yankees reject A-Rod's request for apology meeting

20 most amazing stats in Super Bowl history

Six X-factors who could make an impact in Super Bowl XLIX

Five potentially fatal flaws for Patriots in the Super Bowl

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

WATCH: Opposing Packers celebrate Pro Bowl TD

WATCH: Sherman, Peterson hug it out at Pro Bowl

WATCH: Chris Berman is not happy at the Pro Bowl

PHOTO: Brock Lesnar's tramp stamp says ‘Kill ‘em All’

WATCH: Hassan Whiteside blocks five shots in 7 minutes

Duke unveils 'K' hats after Coach K's 1,000th victory

Irina Shayk dumped Ronaldo over cheating rumors?

Mike Napoli almost retired because of sleep apnea

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

20 amazing stats in Super Bowl history

Tom Brady: 'My feelings got hurt'

Potential 'X-factor' Super Bowl players

Potential fatal flaws for Pats in SB XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Chris Berman isn't happy at the Pro Bowl

Brandon Jennings out 6-9 months

Josh Gordon tests positive for alcohol

Report: A-Rod's apology meeting request gets rejected

Harbaugh rapidly landing recruits

WATCH: 'SNL' spoofs Deflategate

NFL tried to catch Pats in act?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.