The Los Angeles Lakers’ 2021-22 season was one of the worst in franchise history, resulting in them missing the postseason despite having championship aspirations.
For the Lakers, a lot of their struggles this season came down to injuries with both LeBron James and Anthony Davis missing significant time.
Just about every team deals with injuries at one point or another though, and while L.A. wasn’t able to overcome them, 16 other teams have so far.
The NBA’s now annual Play-In Tournament concluded with the Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans earning the final two seeds in the West and the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks doing so in the East.
Now, the 2022 NBA playoffs officially begin on Saturday and it is an action-packaged schedule for the first round, via NBA Communications:
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) April 16, 2022
The Phoenix Suns, who represented the West in the Finals last season, are the overwhelming favorites to do so again after having the best record in the NBA. There are some young, hungry teams like the Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks, as well as the experienced Golden State Warriors that could make some noise though.
Other the other hand, the East is much more wide open with any of the eight teams having a chance to make a run if they get hot.
While it’s unfortunate that the Lakers are not in the postseason chasing championship No. 18, it is still important for them to watch to see league trends and perhaps find players who can help get L.A. back over the top.
Most of the NBA’s first-round playoff action will be televised on ESPN and TNT, although some will also be on ABC and NBA TV given the high frequency of games with 16 teams still fighting for a chance to win the 2022 championship.
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