Does It Really Matter If These Lakers Make the Playoffs?

The Easter Holiday celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and after their latest loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night, the Los Angeles Lakers could use some divine intervention to breathe life into their fading season.

The Lakers still have a strong shot at qualifying for the postseason after their fourth loss in five games, but at this point does it really even matter?

The Lakers' best defender, Metta World Peace, may be gone for good, and it was recently reported by ESPN's Dave McMenamin that Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash are dealing with foot and hip issues, respectively.

However, lamenting the Lakers' various injury concerns would be missing the point, because even if this roster was completely healthy, it's doubtful the Lakers could make it out of the first round if they managed to make it to the playoffs at all.

There are numerous points to support my theory, but the strongest evidence against the Lakers making any type of serious playoff run is found in their inferior team defense.

No lead is ever safe in the NBA, and that sentiment is multiplied when it comes to the Lakers who have made a habit out of building huge margins then losing them in a flood of horrible defensive play.

The latest example came in a 120-117 win over Minnesota, a game in which the Lakers held a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter with six minutes left to play.

The Timberwolves were able to whittle that lead to three points in a span of five minutes.

On March 22, the Lakers surrendered a 16-point lead to the lowly Washington Wizards and were beaten 103-100 under a storm of Trevor Ariza three-pointers.

The Lakers' defensive performance against the Bucks may have been the worst of them all when you consider that every member of Milwaukee's starting five scored at least 15 points, and they all did it by shooting at least 50 percent from the field...

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