The Los Angeles Lakers extended their winning streak to five games with a 108-96 win over the New Orleans Pelicans Tuesday night at Staples.
It was Metta World Peace’s night at the arena with what could have been the aging star’s last home game. He started in place of D’Angelo Russell who flew back to Louisville because of his grandmother’s death on Sunday. MWP led the Lakers with 18 points, all in the second half. After the game, he was awarded the game ball telling reporters,
"“I’m gonna get everybody to sign it. I’m gonna frame it. … I don’t think I ever experienced something like this. This is great. You failed and you’re still pushing, you push. You do it together.”"
Five straight wins for the Lakers is the longest winning streak in four years per Tom Ziller at SBNation, and while that is certainly a positive path for the team to be taking, it hurts their chances for the first pick in the NBA lottery. With the wins, the Lakers have fallen from the second-worst record in the league to the third at 26-55.
Lakers fans have been debating the “should we tank to increase our chances” strategy for the past month with opinions falling on both sides. Before the win streak, the team was 21-55 putting them a half-game ahead of the Phoenix Suns for the second-worst record in the league. Now they fall to the third worst record and a 47% chance of securing a pick in the top three of next month’s draft.
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That would be very unfortunate for the franchise because of the projected talented pool of picks available at the top of this year’s draft.
The Suns season is over and the Lakers have one more against Golden State on Wednesday. But even with a loss to the Warriors, the team will still finish with a better record than the Suns.
So, no tanking allowed on Wednesday. I say let’s finish strong and push that win streak to six games.
Come May 16th we will just have to put our faith in the Lottery Goddess and hope she smiles upon us once again.