D.J. Augustin Viewed Lakers As Championship Contenders Before Season, Believes Team Can Still Make A Run
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers have made a couple of additions as they continue to try and turn this season around and make a run at the playoffs. The team brought in veteran point guard D.J. Augustin, who gives the Lakers a reliable shooter and some real playoff experience at the position.

With Kendrick Nunn still having yet to debut this season, Augustin is someone who can come in and contribute immediately and the Lakers sorely need some reinforcements to help end this slump. The team has lost six of its last seven games, three straight since the All-Star Break, and is on the verge of dropping out of the Play-In Tournament completely.

The Lakers’ issues have been one of the biggest stories in the NBA this season, but Augustin hasn’t really paid much attention as he was too focused on his own situation in Houston. “I’m gonna be honest, I really haven’t, I’ve heard stuff on social media and stuff, but I haven’t paid attention,” Augustin said during his press conference with the Lakers.

“I was with the Rockets just trying to help them, help the young guys over there and play my role with the Rockets. That’s all I really focused on, just to be honest. I really don’t know what’s really been going on, I know they haven’t been playing up to everybody’s expectations I would say, but it’s the NBA and things happen. We’re still in a good position where we can still have a chance and that’s all you need in this league is a chance. With guys like LeBron and Russ and even AD when he’s healthy, this team has a lot of good guys on the team.”

Augustin has already fallen right in line with the belief of the rest of the team. The Lakers have continually spoken about their belief in their ability to still make a run this season. Unfortunately, their play on the court has not matched what they believe is possible for this team, but Augustin reiterated that even though he believed like many others that the Lakers were loaded in the offseason, it’s all about getting hot at the right time.

“Just like the fans, as players, when you see all these signings and things like that in the summertime, we was like “woah, the Lakers, they’re loaded!'” Augustin noted. “A championship team, so obviously that’s why when you see the trades over the deadline and a lot of teams got better, you’re looking at like ‘wow, this team is better now.’ But when it comes to winning a championship, it’s just who plays the best in those moments, who plays the best in the playoffs and it doesn’t really matter who’s on your team. Who comes together at the right time and plays the right way, that’s what builds championships.”

The Lakers are running out of time to figure this out as they continue to fall closer and closer to having an extremely early offseason. But if the players really believe in this team and can truly come together and get healthy they could be a dangerous team in the postseason.

Augustin believes familiarity with FVogel, Westbrook will help him adjust to Lakers

Augustin is joining the Lakers late in the season and with little time to practice and integrate within the team, but he has played with Russell Westbrook and for Frank Vogel and believes that will help him.

“I’ve played for Frank before, so I know what he kind of expects on offense and defense,” he said. “It’s gonna be different playing with guys like LeBron, I played with Westbrook before in OKC, so I’m familiar with him, but just trying to fit in and just play the game I always play.”

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