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Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers Playoff run preview: Schedule breakdown, injury report, notable trends & stats

Lonzo Ball, LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram during the 2018 NBA Media Day.
Lonzo Ball, LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram during the 2018 NBA Media Day. (Getty Images)

At the 2019 All-Star break, the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves having a losing record for the seventh straight season.

Currently sitting as the 10th seed in the Western Conference with a 28-29 record, the Lakers have a tough road ahead if they want to make the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2013.

As all teams get set for the final dash of the regular season, we take a look at the Lakers' season so far, their chances to make the postseason with a schedule breakdown and a look at their current injury list.

Season So Far

Despite having a rough opening a slate of games (2-5 in the first 7 games), LeBron James and the Lakers were in a great position at Christmas Eve.

Prior to their Christmas Day showdown with the Golden State Warriors, the Lakers had won 19 of their 33 games (57.6%) and were tied for the fourth-best record in the league.

Playing in his 16th season, James was leading the way with averages of 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 7.1 assists in 34.7 minutes per game.

In addition, despite the numerous offseason roster additions, the Lakers continued their trend of playing good defense under Luke Walton for a second straight campaign.

Up until Christmas Day, they had the 10th best defensive rating in the league.

Riding their wave of early season success, the Lakers stunned the Golden State Warriors at home 127-101 on Christmas Day but in the process, their key veterans in LeBron James (groin) and Rajon Rondo (hand) were injured and ruled out for a significant period of time.

The rehab for the groin injury kept James out for 17 straight games over a period of five straight weeks, the longest injury absence in his career so far.

In the 18 of the 19 straight games that James missed, the young core of the Lakers stumbled to a losing record of 6-12. They dropped games at the Staples Center to teams that were placed near the bottom of the Eastern Conference in the New York Knicks and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The team went from being ranked fourth in the Conference to their current position - outside the Playoffs as the 10th seed.

In the team's last four games just before the break, where LeBron was part of the lineup, the Lakers went 1-3.

Those three losses included a 42-point blowout in Indiana, a 23-point drubbing in Philadephia and a stunning defeat to the Hawks in Atlanta.

Remaining schedule

Of the 25 remaining games, the Lakers officially play 12 games on the road, including one at the Staples Center in a Clippers' home game.

The team's toughest stretch in the remaining schedule is a 5 games in 7 days Eastern Conference road trip.

Over the course of the trip. the team will face-off against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Toronto Raptors, the Chicago Bulls, the New York Knicks, and the Detroit Pistons.

Four back-to-backs feature on the team's remaining schedule with the toughest one being towards end of the season - Apr. 5 vs. Golden State and Apr. 6 @ Clippers.

At the break, the Lakers are 3 games behind the 8th seeded LA Clippers and a game behind the 9th seeded Sacramento Kings, the two key division rivals that the team needs to surpass to make the Playoffs.

Injury list

The Lakers currently have three players on the injury list - Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Tyson Chandler.

The franchise announced on January 20th that Lonzo Ball would miss close to 4-6 weeks with a Grade 3 ankle sprain revealed by an MRI.

Meanwhile, a week back, the team announced that Josh Hart, who received PRP injection to treat tendinitis in his right knee, will be re-evaluated post the All-Star break. No news has been provided yet on Hart's availability for the team's first game after the break against the Houston Rockets on Friday.

Tyson Chandler missed the team's final game before the break in Atlanta with a sprained toe. No official announcement has been on his availability for the team's next game..

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