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Lakers officially earn No. 3 seeding

April 24, 2012|By Mark Medina

Too many issues surround the Lakers. How will the Lakers absorb Metta World Peace's seven-game suspension? Will Andrew Bynum's aggressiveness become consistent? How will the Lakers look in the playoffs with a bench featuring Devin Ebanks and Jordan Hill? The Lakers will soon find out how well they manage all those uncertainties. But here's a dosage of good news: the Lakers officially have the No. 3 seeding in the Western Conference.

Now don't expect the Lakers to hang their 23rd Pacific Division title banner in the Staples Center rafters after the Clippers lost Tuesday in Atlanta. But knowing about their seeding before Thursday's season- finale against Sacramento a whole lot easier. No need for Kobe Bryant to try to go on a scoring binge to surpass Kevin Durant as the league's leading scorer. No need for Pau Gasol to get his third triple double in a week. No need for Bynum to try to match the 30 rebounds he posted two weeks ago.

Sit them down and allow some of the seldom-used players some moments of glory. Enjoy seeing Andrew Goudelock throw up a few running jumpers. See Darius Morris show some of his flash at point guard without any repercussions for making a mistake. Wonder whether Hill can build off his 14-point, 15-rebound effort he provided in a surprise appearance against Oklahoma City.

Perhaps it's necessary to give the starters some burn just so they're used to playing without World Peace and even Matt Barnes (ankle). But keep it to a minimum. By sitting the starters out for at least most of the game, the Lakers will essentially have five days of practice and preparation before opening the playoffs, likely on Sunday. 

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com. Follow the Lakers blog on Twitter and on Facebook.

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