It’s probably the only way this regular season could’ve ended, the A team Lakers against some C team opponent, the result almost immaterial to what’s coming next. Because why should a regular season full of twists end without at least some uncertainty?
The Lakers never had control of their season, not with the short turnaround after their bubble championship, not with their two superstars missing massive time and not with so many questions as they head into the postseason.
It didn’t matter that the Lakers were complete Sunday night in New Orleans or that they mostly cruised to a 110-98 win. Their fate was decided in Portland, where a blowout win against Denver sealed their play-in fate.