The Los Angeles Lakers have 28 games left to salvage a 2012-13 season that has played out worse than even the most pessimistic prognosticators could have predicted.
Forget title hopes. Those are out the window now.
In place of championship aspirations, Kobe Bryant's L.A. club must instead focus on the substantially more modest goal of making the postseason at all. Hey, when you're 25-29, it's time to downsize expectations.
With two months to play, the Lakers sit three-and-a-half games behind the Houston Rockets for that eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. It's not impossible for L.A. to pull it together down the stretch, but it'll need a cohesive plan to get the job done.
Not to mention a little luck.
In order to avoid finishing this year as one of the most disappointing teams in NBA history, the Lakers will have to put ego aside and focus on a regimented six-step plan.
Here's the blueprint L.A. must follow in order to make the playoffs, set things right and avoid historic embarrassment.