Windhorst: Lakers 'Targeting' NBA Playoffs Matchup with Kings; Is 'Dream Scenario'

Doric SamFebruary 27, 2023

Los Angeles Lakers guard Malik Beasley (5) and forward Anthony Davis (3) get a congrats from teammate forward LeBron James (6) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
AP Photo/LM Otero

Amid a recent run of success, the Los Angeles Lakers are looking ahead to potential playoff opponents, and they reportedly believe one team in particular presents an ideal matchup.

"If LeBron [James] and [Anthony Davis] can stay healthy ... their schedule gives them a window to make something possible. And the reason that Darvin Ham is talking about sixth is that they're targeting the Sacramento Kings," ESPN's Brian Windhorst said Monday on Get Up. "The Sacramento Kings are in third. I think they're very likely to finish third. That's the team that they want in the first round, an inexperienced team. That's their dream scenario."

The Lakers have won three straight games and sit in 12th place in the Western Conference with a 29-32 record. Things could change drastically over the final 21 games of the regular season, as Los Angeles has the fifth-easiest schedule remaining, per Tankathon.

To jump to sixth, the Lakers will need teams such as the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks to continue their inconsistent seasons. Teams slated for the play-in tournament—including the Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz—would be easy to leap over if Los Angeles takes care of business.

The Kings, who haven't made the playoffs since 2006, are in the midst of a resurgent campaign in their first year under head coach Mike Brown. Sacramento leads the Pacific Division with a 35-25 record thanks to strong play by the All-Star duo of De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis.

While the Lakers might view the Kings as an easy matchup, recent history paints a different picture. Sacramento won the regular-season series against Los Angeles 3-1 this season, with its lone loss coming by two points.

The Lakers will go for their fourth straight win Tuesday when they visit the Memphis Grizzlies (36-23). The Kings will be doing the same in a road matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder (28-32).