The Los Angeles Lakers will qualify for the 2013 NBA Playoffs, but if you were witness to their unbelievable loss to the Washington Wizards on Friday night, then you probably feel that reaching the postseason is an undeserved reward for this team.
Squandering a 16-point lead is bad under any circumstances; however, when the surrender comes at the hand of the 11th best team in the Eastern Conference, then some serious soul-searching may be in order.
The only problem is that Los Angeles' season and possibly the future of their franchise might hinge on what happens during the Lakers' final 12 games. And considering that five of those games are against certified postseason participants does not bode well for the purple and gold.
The Lakers have had enough trouble beating teams they are supposed to beat, but when it comes to beating teams they might face in the playoffs, their record is abysmal.
Los Angeles is currently 36-34 and only 12 of their 36 wins have come against teams who would qualify for the playoffs if it started today. Twenty-two of their 34 losses come against those same teams.
After consecutive losses to the Phoenix Suns and Wizards, the Lakers need to prove they are prepared for the postseason, but more importantly, they need to prove they can beat the teams they may face once they get there.
The Lakers have five games to prove they are up to the task, and the journey begins Monday night.