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The Los Angeles Lakers have had problems all season long. Injuries, coaching changes, player feuds and most importantly losses, have hamstrung the season. Although the Lakers will likely make the playoffs, unfortunately they will probably end up playing one of the top three seeds.
Those three teams are expected to be the Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs, of which the Lakers are a combined 1-8.
Even if they end up facing the Memphis Grizzlies, they will have only won a single game so far against the top four teams. The problems facing those teams come from everywhere. According to hoopdata, all four teams have a better defensive efficiency ranking and only one is worse in offensive efficiency, Memphis.
Short of a miracle, the Lakers hopes seem to be doomed in the first round of the playoffs. The saving grace is knowing that Dwight Howard is capable of locking in on defense and beating teams up in the paint, although he has rarely done so this season. Kobe Bryant and Dwight should be enough of a formidable duo to lead the Lakers past the first round, but based on nearly an entire season of evidence, it looks unlikely.