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How The End of The Season Will Determine the Fate of The Western Conference Playoffs

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With Lebron yet to return to action and AD on a minutes restriction, the Los Angeles Lakers are likely locked in to their spot, but how will that fare when they face the Nuggets, Jazz, Clippers, or Suns?
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will the Lakers make a push for home court in the first round? Because right now they're out of it firstly as far as just sort of being a general basketball fan, I'm happy that this has played out the way it has for the Lakers because it sort of levels the playing field because they're going to have to go on the road to win later in the playoffs no matter where they finish to start the playoffs, whether it's in Utah or phoenix or the clippers or Denver, they're clearly going to be the favorite if they're healthy, no matter what, no matter who they play, but this sort of gives an advantage to those teams, so I want the Lakers to be healthy. Of course we all hope that, but just the way it sort of, you know, shook out to this point. Yeah, it just, it just makes me feel like wherever they, whoever they play, it's going to be a little bit more level and I think they end up where they are in the five seed because eighties coming along slowly. Lebron's not back. Denver already has a gap between the four and five spots, so I just don't think they catch anybody. I think we're going to see them right where they are and Utah phoenix clippers in Denver, whether we get a Denver Lakers first round, wow, those teams are gonna have home court advantage over the Lakers where whenever they play them in my opinion, lee what did you think of Anthony? Davis returned there last night? He hadn't played docile in a long time, whatever it was like 89 10 weeks. He looked a little rusty to me, which isn't a surprise when you missed 30 games with like a calf and heel issue played limited minutes, like I said, shot to attend, um what'd you take from that game? And again, this question that I just threw a test, I think the most important thing for him and the Lakers was just for him to get through the game. And he did that as you said, they weren't expecting huge things and he really wasn't out there certainly in Top Gear either. I think he was just trying to get a feel back for the game because he has got now a few weeks before the playoffs start and that's when he really wants to be back to his best. So they have to take it carefully here the Lakers because he did miss such a long time with such a potentially serious injury. Uh, so it's more about, okay, how is he going to feel today? Is he going to play in any back to back? So I'm not sure if the Lakers actually have any from here on out, but you know, will, will that be the case? I expect? They probably will still load manage him building up to the playoffs, but they really just want to see him if he Can build up to maybe 2025 minutes and then 30 and 35 and if you get through all those games and it's great. This is a they're looking big picture. Of course the Lakers home court advantage is probably the of all the teams in the playoffs. The least important for the Lakers simply because of, you know, the talent that they have and when Lebron James comes back and they just have that status that, you know, it's Lebron, it's the Lakers, nobody wants to face them in the playoffs at some point. Even though teams like the Jazz and the Nuggets should feel confident going up against the Lakers because they've played very well themselves this season, but still it's it's Lebron, Lebron and the Lakers, it's exactly like it was with the Raptors back in the day, you know, like you run into Lebron and it's like man, it's tough to beat him no matter what brings that up every single time. But eventually look, when Lebron wasn't able to play, the Raptors went on to win the championship, so that just shows how I think the obstacles. But overall again, yeah, the Lakers I think are pretty much locked into that spot because they are 3.5 behind the Nuggets in there, 2.5 up on the Blazer, so I don't think they fall and I just don't think they can quite overtake the Nuggets. Nuggets been playing really well to lately, so since Jamal Murray went down and I think there's so much more incentive there for the Nuggets to make sure they lock up that home court advantage because they, at this point where we are today, I think they are going to face the Lakers in the first round and they need any advantage they can get. What do you think? Well, I think we're locking them into the five seed and lee wants to keep bringing up the Toronto Raptors and Lebron, but let's throw it back a little further. Maybe this Lakers team Is the 1995 Houston rockets coming off a championship. They don't care about the regular season the next year, they get the sixth seed and then just run through the playoffs. Like it's no big deal. That's what the Lakers are hoping to do here. They don't care about home court advantage at all. They've got a better record on the road so far this season. They've had very few fans in L. A. Up until now and they just won a championship in the bubble. This is a team that does not care about having to go somewhere else and win a basketball game. Uh So yeah, I don't think the Lakers are going to be, you know, working their hardest to get up into home court advantage. At this point we saw Anthony Davis came back last night. That was a winnable game for the Lakers. If they really wanted to go out and take it, they played in 15 minutes. Because the only thing that really matters is if Lebron and A D. Are at full strength come playoff time, I would say the only thing fascinating though is Lebron usually he likes to uh what's he call it has a feel out game one in most series, but most of the time he's got home court advantage because his team is pretty elite. Will he continue to do that lee even on the road that feel out game one and maybe drop a couple of those? Uh, you think so? I don't know if you can do that when you're the road team? I think it's a little bit different, but yeah, look, I think most people still think the Lakers are the favorites, I think. I think I think I checked the stat last season and five times he's lost the first game of a series and then swept the series from there on out. So, uh, he knows what he's doing out there.
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