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Can the Lakers conceivably still make the playoffs?

With Anthony Davis injured and the Lakers already behind the eight ball, can the team still conceivably make the playoffs?

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NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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There was hardly a worse start imaginable for the Lakers than the one they got off to this season. It put them immediately behind the eight ball and used up a good chunk of their margin for error in the first weeks of the new campaign.

As a result, when Anthony Davis went down with injury, it effectively felt like even more of a gut-punch and made the playoffs seem even further away. The Lakers relied heavily on Davis and LeBron James this season and without one of them, it makes the battle a much tougher one.

The saving grace is that the Western Conference is pretty mid this year, to be honest. Despite being 13-17 on the year, the Lakers are just 1.5 games out of the play-in and four games out of fifth place and the Clippers.

If the Lakers can hold the fort down, or if AD’s injury isn’t long-term, or if a trade is made to boost the team, the Lakers could still make a playoff push. That’s a lot of “ifs” though, which leads to this week’s SB Nations Reacts survey asking if the Lakers can still make the playoffs.

Much of the Lakers playoff odds could be determined in the coming month or so. The team’s schedule is much lighter, especially in comparison to how it started early in the year. Treading water does the Lakers no good in a playoff race at this point, so if they can make a run in this stretch even without AD, then perhaps the postseason feels more likely.

It’s hard to feel optimistic about the Lakers right now considering how important AD was to them this season. A good run of results in the coming weeks could change things, as could a big trade, but it’s hard to feel great about the Lakers postseason chances right now.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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