Whatever is ahead doesn’t exactly seem too inviting

Times Staff Writer

San Antonio? Phoenix? Dallas?

The regular season ends two weeks from today, and it’s still unclear which team the Lakers will face, assuming they make the playoffs.

It’s almost a pick-your-poison situation, with the Mavericks owning the league’s best record, the Suns lingering behind them, and the Spurs turning into the Spurs -- a veteran team rounding into late-season form.

“I think that taking on San Antonio with all its experience, or obviously Phoenix and its high-powered offense, and Dallas with the great run they’ve had this year are all teams that are very difficult teams,” Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. “We match up well with two of those three teams. We haven’t done well against Dallas the last two games.”


To say the least.

The Lakers are 2-1 against San Antonio, 1-1 against Phoenix and 1-3 against the Mavericks, including a 114-95 loss in February and a 108-72 loss last month that marked the Lakers’ worst home defeat in their 47 years in Los Angeles.

The Lakers are trying to lock up sixth place in the Western Conference, which depends partly on the compliance of two other teams: Denver, which has a challenging schedule over the final two weeks, and the Clippers, whom the Lakers play tonight.

It’s too early to forecast what will happen, but Jackson made a playoff prediction regarding Kobe Bryant, suggesting the Lakers’ All-Star might lean more toward a share-the-ball mind-set.

“There’s a team philosophy that Kobe will follow,” Jackson said. “He did last year in the playoffs, as to how we want to attack a team. That’s a given. He’s complied very well when we’ve joined heads together in how we want to attack a team. We’ll get that accomplished.”


Rookie Jordan Farmar had another long day, playing in the afternoon for the Lakers’ Development League team, the D-Fenders, before suiting up at night for the Lakers against Denver. Both games were at Staples Center.

Farmar had 20 points, on seven-for-12 shooting, and eight assists for the D-Fenders, who defeated Albuquerque, 121-104. He did not score in 12 minutes for the Lakers.


On Sunday, Farmar was the first player to appear in games in the Development League and the NBA in the same day.

Players can be sent down and recalled three times in a season, which means Farmar could pull double duty again on April 12, when the D-Fenders play host to Anaheim and the Lakers play the Clippers.