Ahead of the season, the Los Angeles Lakers were projected to be a major contender for the Championship. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook had high hopes of success.
Now, with the regular season nearly complete, the Lakers find themselves in a position to finish 11th in the West.
It has been a great failure of the NBA this year, and it has a chance to get even worse for the Purple and Gold.
After their win over Portland on Sunday night, the Spurs only need two more wins to completely eliminate the Lakers from play-in contention, effectively ending their season and ensuring the 2021-22 campaign goes down as an embarrassment for the 17x Champs.
Despite a rough start and a roster filled with inexperienced players, the Spurs have somehow made themselves key factors in the fate of the Lakers.
The question is, will they close the deal? For the Spurs, their remaining games are all against playoff teams (Denver, Minnesota, Golden State, and Dallas), so splitting the slate of matchups will not be an easy feat.
Meanwhile, the Lakers will play against Phoenix, Golden State, Oklahoma City, and Denver over the next week. They will have to be nearly perfect from here on out.
Somehow, even amid overwhelming odds and poor play, Anthony Davis still seems to believe in the potential of his team.
"It's been tough, not being able to fully reach our potential as far as us three being on the floor, seeing what we could be but with that being said, we also have enough to win basketball games... We'll continue to fight this way and give ourselves a chance and we'll see what happens."
Whether you believe in Davis or not, it will be a race to the very end and only one thing is certain: the Lakers are going to need a miracle to secure that final play-in spot.
As many Lakers fans hope for an end to this brutal campaign, you can bet LeBron and the crew will be doing whatever they can to keep their season alive and live another day. At 37-years-old, one has to wonder how much longer James can keep fighting.
Pretty soon, he may no longer have the option.