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Podcast: The pros and cons of the Lakers ending up in the play-in tournament, explained

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With LeBron James on his way back, it’s possible that the play-in could work out for the Lakers, even if there are clear downsides.

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2020 NBA Finals - Los Angeles Lakers v Miami Heat Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

LeBron James is set to return soon, possibly as soon as Tuesday, according to the latest reports. When framed in conjunction with the Lakers destroying the Phoenix Suns — their potential first-round playoff opponent — without him on Sunday, things appear to be looking up for the purple and gold, even if it looks increasingly likely that they’re headed for the play-in tournament.

The team itself has continuously maintained that they don’t want to end up in the potential double-elimination scenario, but it also could result in an easier side of the playoff bracket, if the Lakers take care of business. On today’s episode of “Lakers, Explained” — a podcast by Silver Screen and Roll — co-hosts Harrison Faigen and Anthony Irwin dove into the format, and why it could be a double-edged sword for Los Angeles.

On one hand, a healthy Lakers team should be able to win the one game in two tries necessary to make it out of the play-in round they appear destined for by virtue of losing the tiebreakers to both the Portland Trail Blazers and Dallas Mavericks. It also may result in a more favorable playoff matchup, allowing the team to avoid a first-round bout with the LA Clippers.

On the other hand, framing an injured and tired team having to scrap for their lives as any kind of “good” thing could be an exercise in spin, even if there is a chance the path results in an easier opponent for the purple and gold.

After discussing all that, Harrison and Anthony wrapped the show by listing the names they most want to see interviewed for the upcoming Hulu docuseries about the Lakers.

You can listen to all that and more on the entire episode in the player below. To make sure you don’t miss a single one moving forward, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.

You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen, and Anthony at @AnthonyIrwinLA.