Phil Jackson Confident the Los Angeles Lakers Will Make the Playoffs

by January 11, 2013

The front-office in Los Angeles claims that it’s not ready to panic, and that things will work out in the end. Lakers fans, on the other hand, have largely given up on this team’s ability to be great this season (let alone qualify for the postseason.) Former head coach Phil Jackson seems confident that they will make the Playoffs, despite the very tough road ahead. From the LA Times: “Will the Lakers miss the playoffs? ‘I think about it every day,’ [Steve Nash] said in a quiet moment after their latest loss, Wednesday in San Antonio. ‘We’ve got to make some serious ground up here quickly. We’re in deep, and we’ve got to find a way to scratch and claw and get to 48 wins.’ He chose 48 because it was tossed his way by a reporter. It’s the average number of victories claimed by the eighth and final team in the Western Conference playoffs the last five years. It’s actually 47.7 and based on a .582 winning percentage to account for playing only 66 games last season because of the lockout. So the Lakers (15-20) must go 33-14 the rest of the way to get to 48. Good luck. The team winning 43% of its games must now win 70% of the rest. The first chance is Friday at home against Oklahoma City (27-8) without Dwight Howard and possibly Pau Gasol, who’s still not cleared to play because of a concussion. Reality gets only more biting for the Lakers and their $100-million payroll. Even if they miss the playoffs, their lottery pick goes to Phoenix as part of the Nash trade. […] One fairly important voice thinks the Lakers will get there. He was the guy they called at midnight two months ago to say they didn’t want him coaching their team. ‘I still believe the Lakers can make the playoffs,’ Phil Jackson said. ‘They might have to have a ‘come to Jesus’ moment to get their defense in order, but they have the talent.’ The Lakers have missed playoffs only twice since 1976.”