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NBA Playoff Picture: Lakers In Precarious Position As Playoffs Approach

The Los Angeles Lakers didn't play on Monday, but everything around them crumbled just a little. The Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder each won, slotting the Lakers in a precarious No. 3 spot. The Mavericks (56-25) lead the Lakers by a half-game for the No. 2 spot, and the Thunder (55-26) trail L.A. by just a half-game.

The Lakers do hold tiebreaker advantages over each rival, though, meaning that if L.A. wins its two remaining games, it will claim the No. 2 seed, which comes with an apparent first-round matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies and home court advantage through the second round.

L.A. plays the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday. The Spurs are quarreling with the Chicago Bulls for the No. 1 seed overall, and as such Gregg Popovich had indicated he will play his normal rotation. The Lakers visit the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday in the regular season finale. That game could be the final contest in Sacramento for any team, and is already sold out.