Everything You Need to Know About LA Lakers’ 2013 Playoff Push

With the Los Angeles Lakers, there's more to know than meets the eye.

Hollywood's playoff odds have skyrocketed post All-Star break, yet the Western Conference's playoff picture reads like a novel of utter chaos.

Outside of the top three slots, we know almost nothing. Six teams are realistically in play for the bottom three seeds, each of which has more than 15 games remaining.

Los Angeles' postseason odds are now far better than that of a coin toss, but the potential for the Lakers to be bulldozed out of the picture remains. There's also an opportunity for them to move up, rise above the eighth seed and avoid a first-round matchup against the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder.

The key for the Lakers is cognizance. They must be well aware of whom they're chasing and who is right behind them. In other words, the more they (and we) know, the better.


A Look Ahead

Kobe Bryant injured his ankle in the final seconds of Los Angeles' 96-92 loss to the Atlanta.

Per Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, X-rays were negative and Kobe was diagnosed with a severely sprained ankle.

Bryant said that this was as bad an ankle sprain as he's had since the 2000 playoffs, and that he doesn't know when he'll be able to return (via Mike Trudell of Lakers.com):

Kobe has played in all 66 of Los Angeles' games thus far, and any time he has to miss will be detrimental to the team's playoff chances. 

Adding to the difficulties of the road ahead, eight of Los Angeles' final 16 games are on the road. Of those eight, five are against playoff-bound or hopeful teams.

In total, 10 of the Lakers' final 16 come against playoff-bound or fringe teams, nine of which are currently over .500.

The folks over at Basketball-Reference have the magic number for the eighth seed set at 43 at the m...

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