The Los Angeles Lakers already managed to take care of business by clinching the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Although they are still far from a finished product heading into the playoffs, LeBron James is relishing in an accomplishment that critics doubted he would achieve.
Now that Los Angeles has met one of their expectations by securing the most favorable seeding possible, there is plenty of speculation regarding how their road to the NBA Finals will shake out as the showdown for the eighth spot continues to heat up between a host of teams in the West.
For the NBA restart, if there is a difference of four games or less between the eighth seed and ninth seed, a play-in tournament must take place. That seemingly has become an inevitability since the Memphis Grizzlies effectively squandered a 3.5-game cushion by losing their first four games in the bubble.
While there may be plenty of intrigue surrounding the tightly-contested race, James has his focus elsewhere. “For me and this ballclub, we’re trying to get better every day. We want to get better on the floor, when we have our film sessions we want to get better in our film sessions,” he sid.
“I’m not paying attention to what’s going on with the eight seed right now, because there’s too much that can happen with play-in games to decided that. It’s too far away.”
James’ comments are certainly understandable given there are too many variables to consider since the fight for the No. 8 seed in the West is still up for grabs between six teams in the Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns and Portland Trail Blazers.
As the Grizzlies slide down the standings, the Trail Blazers, Suns and Spurs are in the thick of the conversation.
LeBron hesitant on giving advice in the bubble
James was able to add another crowning achievement to his resume by leading the Lakers to the top spot in the West. Regardless, he still finds himself in unfamiliar territory finishing out an unprecedented year in a bubble environment tab Walt Disney World.
Though James’ experience certainly helps to serve as a stabilizing factor for a team that is just getting used to being back in the playoff picture, the circumstances make it difficult for him to offer up any valuable advice to the younger players on the roster.
“This is a totally different situation than any other situation I’ve been in during my career,” he said this week.
“So I have zero experience with having the No. 1 seed inside a bubble, during seeding games, playing in August. This is a learning experience for all of us and we’re going to continue to take it day by day.”
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