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Los Angeles Lakers’ Playoff History as Number Three Seed: Fan Breakdown

Yahoo Contributor Network

On Sunday (April 29) the Los Angeles Lakers will play the first game of their series with the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Playoffs. The Lakers finished their 2011 run in the NBA Playoffs rather abruptly, getting swept by the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Semifinals. This time around the Lakers will look to redeem their embarrassingly early exit and strive for a return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010 when they were crowned NBA champs.

During that 2010 run, the Lakers were the number one seed in the Western Conference when they won that title. In fact, since the 1983-1984 season - when the NBA expanded its playoff format from 12 to 16 teams - the Lakers have won six NBA championships as the number one seed in the Western Conference. Unfortunately for the Lakers, they aren't the number one seed in the West this year, as they finished with the number three seed.

How have the Lakers fared since 1983-1984 season as the number three seed in the Western Conference? Let's take a look:

1990-1991

After a 58-24 campaign the Lakers ended their year as the three seed because at the time the division winners occupied the top spots in the conference - similar to how the NHL conducts its playoffs at present. The Lakers would essentially breeze by the early competition, playing three series and losing just three games total as they reached the NBA Finals. The Lakers took game one of The Finals before losing the next four to the Chicago Bulls, earning the Bulls their first championship of what would be a three-peat.

1997-1998

The Lakers put together a great season with a 61-21 record, but that was only good enough for the three seed in the Western Conference. The Lakers bulldozed their way through the opening round and Conference Quarterfinals 3-1 and 4-1 respectively. However, the Lakers were unable to put up any sort of fight against the Utah Jazz, being swept 4-0 in the Western Conference Finals.

2001-2002

Another 58-24 year landed the Lakers in the three slot in the conference with the San Antonio Spurs and Sacramento Kings ahead of them - that's right, the Kings actually used to be good. The Lakers would muscle their way through the first two rounds and then faced off in a tough series against those very same Kings. The Lakers would win that series in a Game 7 overtime thriller, and would sweep the New Jersey Nets in the NBA Finals to cap off their championship three-peat.

History dictates that the Lakers have fared moderately well in as the three seed in the West. This year, they have formidable opponents in the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder but could make a run at the NBA title. When Kobe Bryant is on a team, that team should never be counted out until it is all said and done.

Where do you think the Lakers finish this season? Are they getting knocked out in the Conference Semifinals, the Conference Finals, the NBA Finals, or do they take home the championship?

David is co-founder of wrapupp sports blog where fresh content is posted daily and present sports blogs and sports opinions - all with a West Coast bias. Growing up in the Bay Area, David is a huge supporter of all the local sports teams; the Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, and Raiders. His one fault, admittedly, as many of his friends and family would say, is his love for the Los Angeles Lakers. Growing up, Magic Johnson was his favorite basketball player and he fell in love with the team. He chalks it up to, "Not knowing any better". Now his love for sports has turned just as academic as it is intuitive and he follows most all sports all over the nation.

You can follow David on Twitter: @officialwrapupp

Sources:

Basketball Reference.com. Lakers' Team History. NBA 2012.

Basketball Reference.com. NBA Season History. NBA 2012.

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