The Los Angeles Lakers picked up their fourth straight win since the All-Star break on Thursday, running away from the Miami Heat, 131-113. Once again Julius Randle played a huge role, finishing with 25 points as the Lakers continue their excellent play as of late.
The team is 16-7 since their awful nine-game losing streak and have the second-most wins in the NBA since Jan. 7, behind only the Houston Rockets. With their level of play rising, there have been some whispers about the Lakers making a late push to make the playoffs.
Randle doesn’t want the Lakers thinking about that, however. When asked if the Lakers focus should start shifting, Randle would rather the team not change a thing, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I think we should just keep doing what we’re doing, because it’s working. That’s building our identity as a team, taking the defensive end very seriously, and coming out and playing hard. The wins and losses take care of themselves.”
Randle taking the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mindset makes a lot of sense for the Lakers. While they aren’t mathematically out of the playoff race, it would take a pretty remarkable run over the last 21 games, along with a couple of other teams falling off, for them to sneak in.
L.A. is still six games behind the eighth-seed Denver Nuggets. And both the L.A. Clippers and Utah Jazz stand in between the Lakers and a playoff berth. Needless to say, it’s a bit of a longshot.
For the Lakers, keeping the focus on themselves, continuing to improve and develop for the remainder of the season is the best idea both individually and as a team. If the playoffs are in the cards than that will fall into place, but none of that is possible if they don’t remain focused on what they can control, just as Randle said.
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