The Los Angeles Lakers finished at number seven in the Western Conference and will have to secure their place in the playoffs via the play-in tournament. According to Jared Dudley, there were a lot of teams that “managed” the last couple of regular season games in order to avoid the defending NBA champions.
Looking at the records of the teams in the Western Conference over the last couple of games, three teams among the top six lost at least one game (Nuggets, Mavericks) while the Clippers lost both of them. Portland also lost one game but they were trying to win and get a guaranteed playoff spot as the sixth seed.
“I do think it was funny you see a lot of teams as you would say managing these last couple of games trying to to avoid us and stuff like that. It’s funny to see that,” Dudley said.
“But for us it’s going to be a challenge whatever team you play. Between Jokic, the Clippers, you obviously have Chris Paul. We’re up for, we are the defending champs. They got to worry about us. We’re getting healthy at the right time and no one wants see a healthy Laker team.”