Can the Lakers Maintain Top Spot in the West?
According to Phil Jackson, the Lakers’ upcoming road trip will determine if the team finishes atop the Western Conference: “The Lakers (50-18) have clinched a playoff spot, but their lead in the West was only four games over the Dallas Mavericks and the Denver Nuggets and six over the fourth-place Utah Jazz going into Thursday. The Lakers have 14 games remaining in the regular season, including home contests tonight against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Sunday against the Washington Wizards. Eight of their final 12 games are on the road. ‘As we go down this stretch, we want to gain momentum,’ Jackson said. ‘I think I’ve been saying that for a while. – I think this road trip will make or break whether we sit on top of our conference or not. We have go out and win some games.’ The Lakers travel to San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Houston, New Orleans and Atlanta to finish March. Of the five teams, only Houston and New Orleans are out of a playoff position. San Antonio and Oklahoma City are possible first-round opponents.”