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How far away are the Lakers from playoff teams?

The Lakers didn’t make the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn things from the basketball being played right now.

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New Orleans Pelicans v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

They say that a series doesn’t start until a team wins on the road. Well, it seems we have a few series underway then, as the NBA playoffs have moved to a few pivotal Game 3s. And the Lakers being out of the postseason opens the door to compare the current teams' active rosters to the kind of team Los Angeles would hope to build this summer.

Not only will L.A. be starting from scratch (again), but the team will be competing with rosters who have years of continuity on the books. Phoenix, Milwaukee, Golden State, Memphis, and a healthy version of the Nuggets — just to name a few examples — will all be bringing back a core that has been together for a while.

The bar the Lakers should be aiming at is the top when having LeBron James and Anthony Davis still on the roster. Finding players that can’t be played off the floor with the semi-limited tools they have will be the challenge this summer.

On this week's “I Love Basketball” hosts Sabreena & Raj broke down their favorite playoff series so far. Starting with the overtime win by the Philadelphia 76ers against Toronto and the massive performance by Brandon Ingram in Game 2 against Phoenix, it’s clear this year’s Lakers were nowhere close to this level of play. Can they get there? Only time will tell. But watching these playoff games can tell us about the types of players they’ll need to target to keep up.

Finally, each member of the Silver Screen & Roll podcast team has adopted a playoff team during this run. Sabreena and Raj have the Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks (after the Clippers were eliminated), respectively. They closed the show by discussing the current state of both teams locked in their respective 1-1 series.

You can listen to the full episode below, and to make sure you never miss a show, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.

And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.