The Los Angeles Lakers still remain outside of the playoff picture, but they are starting to look more and more like playoff contenders.
In fact, according to a recent report, the Lakers know they want to face the Sacramento Kings in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.
“The reason that Darvin Ham is talking about sixth is that they’re targeting the Sacramento Kings,” said Windhorst. “The Sacramento Kings are in third. I think they’re very likely to finish third. That’s the team that they want in the first round, an inexperienced team. That’s their dream scenario.”
As the report indicates, the primary reason why the Lakers want to face Sacramento is because the Kings roster has very little playoff experience.
That is not to say that the Kings are not talented. After all, they are led by stars De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, and they have some solid pieces around those players.
Still, it’s logical to think that the Lakers would have the upper hand in a best-of-seven series against the Kings. LeBron James and Anthony Davis would surely be the two best players in the series.
There is a good combination of veteran experience mixed with young energy on the Lakers’ new roster. Newly acquired players like Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt have already had big moments very early on in their tenures with the team.
The biggest concern facing the Lakers right now is the health of James. He suffered another foot injury in the team’s incredible comeback win over the Dallas Mavericks, and it is abundantly clear that the workload he’s dealt with this season is taking its toll.
It’ll be interesting to see if James is able to go in Tuesday’s matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies. Right now, the Lakers are enjoying a three-game winning streak and have gone 6-4 in their last 10 games.
The 2022-23 season has been really tough for the Lakers, but things seem to be moving in the right direction at just the right time.
If the season were to end today, the Lakers were would miss the play-in tournament completely, but they’re making up ground with each win.
Meanwhile, if the Kings remain where they are at the No. 3 seed, the Lakers will have to claim the No. 6 spot to face them in the first round. At the moment, the Lakers are 2.5 games back from that No. 6 seed.