The Lakers (31-31) are fighting to climb into the top eight in the Western Conference. The goal is to catch the Utah Jazz (32-29), Houston Rockets (33-29) or Golden State Warriors (35-27).
While there's no certainty the Lakers achieve that goal, technically it's possible they catch all three to climb as high as the sixth seed. That may be a stretch but climbing any higher than six isn't going to happen - if it's still a mathematical possibility.
A 6-8 seeding will see a first-round matchup against one of five opponents: San Antonio Spurs (48-14), Oklahoma City Thunder (44-16), Clippers (44-19), Grizzlies (40-19) or Denver Nuggets (40-22). The most likely two of the five are the Spurs and Thunder.
So far this season, the Lakers are just 2-13 against these top-five teams. They've beaten the Thunder and Nuggets once each but have lost all seven against the remaining three.