The Los Angeles Lakers are coming into a crucial time of their schedule after the All-Star break. With simply 23 video games remaining within the common season, the Lakers are 5 video games below .500 (27-32) and have a seven-game stretch the place they’ll play all Western Conference foes, beginning with the Golden State Warriors, Thursday evening. First-year head coach Darvin Ham spoke on Wednesday concerning the staff’s objective and what they’re striving for on this stretch run.
“Yeah, the goal is for us to come out and try to be the best version of ourselves each game, but definitely, if we can go and secure a spot, that is our goal right there,” Ham mentioned. “If we fall into a play-in situation, so be it. But our No. 1 goal is to go secure a spot [and] not just throw games off here or there [and] just wish for a play-in. We want to go secure a spot.”
Over the subsequent seven video games, L.A. will play Golden State twice, Dallas, Memphis twice, Oklahoma City, and Minnesota. All these groups are presently forward of the Lakers within the standings. Right now, Los Angeles is two video games out of the final play-in spot occupied by the Thunder. The Lakers and Thunder sq. off on March 1 in OKC, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is searching for some payback on LeBron James after he blocked his dunk try within the All-Star sport.
It’s good to listen to Ham hold it actual in his expectation for this Lakers squad, however placing this plan into movement is way simpler mentioned than achieved. James has performed in a single sport since setting the brand new all-time scoring report over two weeks in the past. It’s humorous how he participated in that sport simply earlier than the All-Star break towards New Orleans. If you purchase this harm ankle crap, extra energy to you. But it clearly wasn’t unhealthy sufficient that he couldn’t have performed in these video games instantly following his passing of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar within the report books.
Need greater than LeBron
At this level, Ham can’t depend on LeBron to play each sport, whether or not injured or not, and we’ve by no means actually been in a position to depend on the well being of Anthony Davis. All the commerce deadline strikes on the earth gained’t quantity to something with out these two within the lineup. Bringing D’Angelo Russell again to L.A. will assist so long as there aren’t any digital camera telephones round him within the locker room. The addition of Russell is a pleasant pickup and creates a terrific third choice who knocks down open photographs. But with out Bron and AD on the ground constantly, the chances of the Lakers making a playoff push are slim.
Of course, each staff want to keep away from the one-game state of affairs of the play-in, however realistically that is one of the best guess for LA. James remains to be nice when he’s on the market however wants extra assist than ever earlier than, and rightfully so. It’s robust although when the principle man tasked with serving to not often performs. The odds of the Lakers successful sufficient video games to leap into the highest six within the west are about nearly as good as Stephen A. Smith not saying one thing egregious the subsequent time he’s on air. Or SAS being invited to a Rihanna fan social gathering. It’s not occurring.
Los Angeles must win a minimum of 5 of the subsequent seven video games to make up any vital floor within the standings. Their stars must play. This staff isn’t deep sufficient to overlook both star for a substantial period of time, as we’ve seen since they gained the bubble championship in 2020. Good luck, Lakers. You’re definitely going to want it.