UPDATED: BOTTOM OF PAGE 3
I'll update this thread as he does on his post.
Alright here's how this works. Below are predicted scenarios where the Lakers can pass GSW, UTAH, or HOU. If any of these teams get above +0 against the predicted pace, it's bad for us. If everyone is at 0, it means we're on track for the playoffs. If we go into the negative, it's bad. If they go into the negative, awesome. First letter is actual result (W/L), second is predicted result.
This thread will be updated daily and once a week I'll do a weekly update.
Summary of the week: Lakers gain solid ground on all 3 teams ahead of them post ASG with a 4-1 run compared to 3-3 for GSW, 2-2 for Houston and 1-3 for Utah. We're in good shape, but still havent' won any games we weren't supposed to, and need a lot more solid weeks like this before we lock up a playoff spot.
We Gives thanks to...: Monta Ellis for that absurd buzzer beater to put away Houston... David Lee for getting suspended from what ended up being a 4 point loss to NYC after 54 from Curry... Kobe for looking like he was still 28 and dominant all week... Boston for losing to us the day after the great Jerry Buss's passing, and then taking care of Utah for us a few days later.
Lakers predicted finish : 20-8 to finish at 45-37
Actual Finish (So far) : 4-1
+/- Against predicted pace : +0
Games out of 8th : 2
Schedule Strength : 12 of lakers last 23 games are against current playoff teams. 5 of those 12 are against elite playoffs teams (>60% win %) plus Chicago on the cusp (58.5%). They have 9 games against basement teams (<40% win %) and 10 against mid-range teams (40-60%). 11 are at home and 12 on the road.
Analysis : Lakers schedule is not impossible, but with 7 extremely tough games plus 3 against close rivals in the standings and needing to go 20-8, this inconsistent lakers team has zero margin for error. They must dominate all the soft games on the schedule and find ways to win all the close ones. And in the middle of all that they need one of the three teams above them to have a rough finish.
Weekly Update: This was a very solid week for the lakers. We took care of business in two very close games against teams that were virtually tied with us - Portland and Dallas. We got a revenge win on Boston, we handled Minnesota the way a good team should. Kobe and Nash are at the top of their games, the role players finally know their minutes and are producing consistently, and Dwight has looked engaged on defense every game. Only loss was in Denver... and honestly, back to back in Denver where they are 24-3 (2nd best home record in the NBA) - that would've been a really tough one for us to win, and it was okay to drop it. That said, 4-1 in the first week doesn't gain us any games on the pace we need - it just keeps us on track. We got ATL, OKC, NOH, TOR & CHI this week, if we can win 3 of those 5 we will be in great shape.
Player of the Week: Kobe Bryant (easy pick, as he was the actual Western Conference player of the week): Turns back the clock with some vintage 4th Quarter closing against Dallas & Portland, big dunks against Minny, and blew off his cold outside shooting by going 9/21 from deep over the week. Kobe Averaged 31.2/6.8/6.4 on 55.8% shooting over the week and POWERED lakers through to a 4-1 week.
Daily Update : Another important and solid win for LA. This obviously wasn't a tough game... Minny was SEVERELY depleted, and with pekovich getting injured early their size disadvantage was a joke. But the lakers played a crisp game and continue to show improved chemistry and they did something they never did in the first half of the season: they built an early lead and they kept it the whole game until Minnesota collapsed.
Complete : BOS(W-W), POR(W-W), @DAL(W-W), @DEN(L-L), MIN(W-W) |
Incomplete :ATL(X-L), @OKC(X-L), @NOH(X-W), TOR(X-W), CHI(X-L), @ORL(X-W), @ATL(X-L), @IND(X-L), SAC(X-W), @PHX(X-W), WAS(X-W), @GSW(X-W), @MIN(X-W), @MIL(X-W), @SAC(X-W), DAL(X-W), MEM(X-L), @LAC(X-L), NOH(X-W), @POR(X-W), GSW(X-W), SAS(X-W), HOU(X-W)
Golden State Warriors predicted finish : 15-15 to finish 45-37
Actual Finish (So far) : 3-5
+/- Against predicted pace : +0
Games Ahead of Lakers : 3.5 (6.5 before All-Star break)
Schedule Strength : 10 of their final 25 are against playoff teams, 4 against elite teams, 8 against basement dwellers, 11 against mid-range teams. 16 of 25 are at home.
Analysis : GSW's schedule is pretty favourable, but they have been doing the poorest lately. They have 2 games against houston, 2 against LA and 1 against utah left, plus a loss to utah already since the break, so if they can't get their mojo back they could be knocked out of the playoffs directly by the teams around them.
Weekly Update: It's been a roller coaster week in Golden State. Bogut's gone back out. Curry's in god mode. Lee got suspended on the eve of a really important game in New York for brawling in Indiana. They somehow beat San Antonio to get ahead of the pace, but I have no idea what they're going to look like next week after a long road trip. They've got a soft portion of the schedule coming up, so if they fail to take care of business against any basement teams this week we'll really know if there's a chance GSW will freefall out of the playoffs.
Player of the Week: Gotta be Stephen Curry. Shows a little of the "eff you" mode that few NBA players have, kicking in an NBA season high 54 against NYC IN NYC. Puts down 30 PPG over the week on 54% shooting including a ridiculous 53.8% from 3 (28 of 52). Oh and he averaged 4 boards and 6 dimes over the same stretch.
Daily Update : Terribly Philly team did us a huge favour tonight, winning a game I expected GSW to dominate. GSW stars played very well - 30/8 for Curry and 13/16/7 for Lee, even Klay Thompson busted out for 29 points and 7/12 from 3... but it looks like their bench killed them, with "6th man of the year candidate" Jarrett Jack going for 6 points on 3/13 shooting, 1 assist, 4 turnovers and a -9. This [expletive]ty loss knocks Golden State back to +0 balancing things out with their upset of San Antonio last week. Keep dropping games to bad teams like this and Lakers will be caught up in no time.
Complete : @UTA(L-L), PHX(W-W), SAS(W-L), @MIN(W-W), @IND(L-L), @NYK(L-L) | @BOS(L-L), @PHI(L-W)
Incomplete :, TOR(X-W), SAC(X-W), HOU(X-L), MIL(X-W), NYK(X-W), DET(X-W), CHI(X-L), @HOU(X-L), @NOH(X-W), @SAS(X-L), WAS(X-W), LAL(X-L), SAC(X-W), POR(X-L), NOH(X-W), @PHX(X-W), UTA(X-L), MIN(X-L), OKC(X-L), @LAL(X-L), SAS(X-W), @POR(X-W)
Utah Jazz predicted finish : 13-15 to finish 43-39
Actual Finish (So far) : 2-3
+/- Against predicted pace : +0
Games Ahead of Lakers : 3 (5.5 before ASG)
Schedule Strength : 13 of 23 games against playoff teams, 9 against elite teams, 6 against basement dwellers and 8 against mid-range teams. 12 of 24 at home.
Analysis : Utah's schedule is tough. With 10 elite opponents and a vulnerable roster, I feel good about our chances of having them struggle down the stretch.
Weekly Update: Rough week for Utah was expected - they were playing 4 solid playoff teams. Most experts and fans are coming around to the idea that Utah is the most likely to drop out of the playoffs, and I agree. They don't have the explosiveness to win random games with outside shooting against elite teams like GSW and HOU do, and they have by far the hardest closing stretch. This week coming up is much easier for Utah, starting with games against Charlotte, Milwaukee and Cleveland, but if they drop ANY of those we'll be in great shape.
Player of the Week: Gordon Hayward has been quietly killing it off the bench all week, scoring 19.2 PPG while shooting 41% from 3 and getting to the line 8 times a game. His gem was 26 points on 16 shots in Boston in a 3 point loss.
Daily Update : 5/5 on Utah's predictions now, as they trounce charlotte by 30. With Millsap and Jefferson out, Enes Kanter steps up with a 23 point/22 rebound game. After stops in Milwaukee and Cleveland coming up, Utah's schedule will get tough again. Lets hope their best players have to miss more than the bunny games.
Complete : GSW(W-W), @LAC(L-L), BOS(L-L), ATL(L-L) | CHA(W-W)
Incomplete :@MIL(X-W), @CLE(X-L), @CHI(X-L), @NYK(X-L), DET(X-W), @OKC(X-L), MEM(X-L), NYK(X-W), @HOU(X-L), @SAS(X-L), @DAL(X-W), PHI(X-W), PHX(X-W), @POR(X-L), BRK(X-L), POR(X-W), DEN(X-L), NOH(X-W), @GSW(X-W), OKC(X-L), MIN(X-W), @MIN(X-W), MEM(X-L)
Houston Rockets predicted finish : 15-12 to finish 44-38
Actual Finish (So far) : 3-2
+/- Against predicted pace : +0
Games Ahead of Lakers : 2.5 (3.5 before ASG)
Schedule Strength : 9 of 22 games against playoff teams, 6 against elite teams, 10 against trash and 8 against mid-range teams. 13 of 22 at home
Analysis : Houston's schedule is pretty easy, and of the three teams ahead of us I think their team is the most well constructed to compete down the stretch. They play phoenix [expletive]ing 4 times and the kings twice. They've been playing well lately and I honestly think we have a better chance of catching a tumbling utah or GSW than houston, even if they are our closest target.
Weekly Update: Of the three teams ahead of us, we gained the least ground on Houston, but they remain the closest target. They had a bizarre week in winning both games I expected them to lose (Brooklyn, OKC) and losing both games I expected them to win (WAS, MIL). At this point this is a classic team that lives and dies by the 3 and can beat or lose to any team on any night. So where will they finish? [expletive] if I know, I'm 0/4 on predicting them so far.
Player of the Week: I guess we have to default this to James Harden after he willed his team past former team OKC with a ridiculous night - 46 points on an absurd 19 shots to go with 8 boards and 6 assists. For the week James averaged 30/5/6 on 52% FG and 50% 3PT%.
Daily Update : Orlando gave Houston a good run, but in the end Houston rallied and put them down. Harden with 11 4th quarter points and Delfino bombing 5/9 on 3s didn't help. Not a big deal, but lets hope Dallas can do a little better and at least get a split over the next two games.
Complete : OKC(W-L), @BRK(W-L), @WAS(L-W), MIL(L-W) | @ORL(W-W)
Incomplete : DAL(X-W), @DAL(X-L), @GSW(X-W), @PHX(X-W), PHX(X-W), MIN(X-W), GSW(X-W), UTA(X-W), CLE(X-W), SAS(X-L), IND(X-L), @MEM(X-L), LAC(X-L), ORL(X-W), @SAC(X-W), @POR(X-L), @DEN(X-L), PHX(X-L), MEM(X-L), SAC(X-W), @PHX(X-W), @LAL(X-L)
Tie Breakers As per request :
Summary: Utah > Lakers, all the rest TBD over the last chunk of the season.
Lakers: Needs 1 more win to have season series over Golden State. Need one more win to tie up series with Houston. Have already lost season series vs Utah. vs Utah(L,L,W), vs Houston(W,L,L,X,), vs Golden State (W,W,X,X,)
Golden State: Needs 1 more win for season series vs Utah, Needs 2 wins to tie series with Houston and lakers. Utah(W,L,X) Houston (L,L,X,X)
Utah: Have series over Lakers, Need another win to take GSW series and another win to knot houston series. Houston (W,L,L,X)
Houston: Needs 1 more win to have series against Lakers, Golden State, and Utah.
Edited by AirTupac, March 18, 2013 - 09:09 PM.