Even the most faithful of Los Angeles Lakers fans would admit this season hasn't started off as well as they'd hoped. This team was expected to compete for an NBA championship, let alone a playoff berth. Now, more than a quarter of the way through the season, they're struggling to get back to .500.
Despite the slow start to the season, all is not lost for the Lakers. In fact, the team is starting to show signs of getting back on track. The players have finally started to become acclimated to coach Mike D'Antoni, some key stars are close to returning from injury and the team's statistical output now more closely resembles a contender than a pretender.
At this point, it's mathematically impossible for the Lakers to be one of the best regular-season teams in NBA history. But it's not too late for them to qualify for the playoffs and still reach their goal of an NBA title. In fact, here are 10 reasons why the Lakers are destined to make the NBA postseason.
(Note: All stats used in this slideshow are current in games played through Dec. 17.)