Los Angeles Lakers: Updated Playoff Odds and Kobe’s Guarantee

The Los Angeles Lakers are making the playoffs in 2013, at least according to prognosticator Kobe Bryant (via Jack McCallum of Sports Illustrated). Does Kobe do stock tips as well?

In sports we love the statistics, particularly when they go our way. The problem is that the numbers are stacked against Bryant’s guarantee that the Lakers will make the playoffs.

Is a playoff spot for the Lakers possible? Anything is possible. The Lakers are not a long shot to make the postseason by any means as they are only three-and-a-half games behind the Houston Rockets for the final playoff spot.

Does that three-and-a-half number feel familiar? It should.

Los Angeles has floated around that number for quite some time. Certainly, it is not an insurmountable deficit. A quick, four-game winning streak by the Lakers and a four-game losing streak by the Rockets would do the trick.

Oh, by the way, those objects in your rearview mirror that are closer than they appear are the Portland Trail Blazers and the Dallas Mavericks. Beating them in the next two games would certainly help. Denver will be waiting after that.

What phrase would be appropriate here when we are talking about catching Houston down the stretch? I’ll believe it when I see it? Don’t hold your breath?

If you are into statistical analysis, Hollinger’s playoff odds (via ESPN.com) suggest that the Lakers currently have a 32.7 percent chance of making the playoffs. Does that number factor in Kobe’s guarantee?

The Lakers are projected to finish at 41-41 and the Rockets are predicted to have a final record of 43-39. For those of you scoring at home, that means Los Angeles may need to finish 44-38 and to overcome Houston. At 26-29, the Lakers would need to finish the season with an 18-9 run.

That would be a pretty hot streak to say the least.

In other words, Los Angeles must play at a .667 clip when they have played .472 ball to...

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