Breaking Down What LA Lakers Need to Do to Make the 2013 NBA Playoffs

Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers dreamt of walking away with this season's NBA title. But before they can fantasize any further about hoisting that Larry O'Brien Trophy into the air, they've got to make the playoffs first.

Securing a postseason berth wasn't even supposed to be a question, though. Of course they would. Kobe, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash are perennial All-Stars. The real question was: Is there such a thing as too much winning?

Inside of 10 games to play, the Lakers aren't worried about running away with a title. They're on the cusp of being run out of the playoff picture.

Following their thrashing of the Dallas Mavericks and the Utah Jazz's loss to the Denver Nuggets, the Lakers have a half-game lead over both teams for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Utah still owns the tiebreaker, though, essentially meaning that the Lakers must finish with the better record clean and clear, or watch the postseason unfold from home.

Even after the victory over Dallas, Tinseltown is still just 2.5 games ahead of the surging Mavericks and is thus left looking over its shoulder the rest of the way as well.

No, it's not going to take a miracle for the Lakers to make the playoffs. But it's not going to be the equivalent of a cakewalk, either.

Not even close.


What's Ahead for the Lakers?

As of April 4, the Lakers have just seven games remaining, which means they're short on time.

Five of those games are played at home. And if you want to be realistic, it's technically six. They play the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center as the away team on April 7.

Los Angeles is 24-12 at home, compared to 15-24 on the road, so this comes as good news.

Less of a relief are the opponents the Lakers will be going up against. Five of their last seven games come agains...

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