Though the Los Angeles Lakers have had plenty of ups and downs this season, the team as a whole has clearly made strides from last season. The fact that they surpassed last season’s win total before the All-Star break is proof that the team is on the right path.
That being said, the Lakers are still 20 games under .500 at 19-39 and the home stretch of this season will say a lot about the makeup of this team.
Following his appearance in the three-point contest during All-Star Weekend, Nick Young spoke about the Lakers’ goals for the rest of the season, including getting to 30 wins, according to Mark Medina of the OC Register:
“Energy and playing together. We got to set the tone and try to get to 30 wins,” Young said. “Try to get 30-plus wins. We tried to get 20 (wins) before All-Star. That didn’t work. But we got to set more goals.”
The Lakers would have to go 11-13 over the final two months of the season to reach that goal, and this team certainly seems capable of getting there. It helps that they have played more games, and more road games, than pretty much every team in the league.
Reaching 30 victories would mark a 13-win improvement over last season which is tremendous growth for a team with so many young players as well as a first-year head coach. It would also show potential free agents that the Lakers are a team on the rise and may not be as far away from a playoff team as initially believed.
Of course, this all comes down to how the Lakers respond to these final games. The combination of more home games, more rest in between games, and the potential development of the young players could get the Lakers exactly where they hope to be by the end of the season.