Kobe Bryant told Yahoo Sports that the Los Angeles Lakers could ‘absolutely’ make the playoffs this season. Sure it is mathematically possible for the Lakers to finish in the top eight of the Western Conference. What is more likely to happen is they fall short while battling in a competitive field.
Much like the 2016 Republican presidential campaign, the Western Conference is so fully loaded that teams with adequate talent will not make the playoffs the same way Governors Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal didn’t qualify for the first presidential debate.
45-37 was good enough for the Lakers to get the 7th seed in the 2006 season, but that win total wasn’t enough for the Oklahoma City Thunder to make the playoffs in 2015. After 21 victories last season, the Lakers can drastically improve, even double their win total, and it still may only be good enough for 9th place.
The Lakers will join the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, Denver Nuggets and Portland Trailblazers in jockeying for position like Senators Lindsey Graham and Rick Santorum- except they have a better chance of making the playoffs than either of them have of getting the GOP nomination.