Blueprint for Los Angeles Lakers to Actually Miss the Playoffs

If there's a silver lining to be found in the black cloud hovering over the Los Angeles Lakers following their embarrassing 116-107 loss to the New York Knicks on Thursday night it's this: The NBA playoffs don't start tomorrow.

If they did, the Lakers, at 9-14, would be spending the postseason at home, with plenty of time to count ping pong balls ahead of the NBA draft lottery.

Fortunately for LA, it has five months to clean up the mess into which the 2012-13 season has thus far devolved.

Or is that unfortunately? It will be if the Lakers continue to slog through the campaign as they have to this point. The list of explanations and excuses is endless—Steve Nash and Pau Gasol are injured; Dwight Howard isn't at full capacity just yet; the team as a whole can't find solid footing together with everything changing around it.

But the Lakers can't expect the rest of the league to wait up while they spin their wheels. Few (if any) could've predicted that this team, after the blockbuster summer it enjoyed, might actually miss the playoffs.

Yet, even an NBA-high $100-million payroll can't guarantee that the Lakers will be playing past mid-April.

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