Lakers News: Rob Pelinka Believes Prospect Of Reaching Playoffs Is Key For Motivation
Gm Rob Pelinka: Lakers Will Be ‘sacred’ About 2018 Salary Cap Space
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Led by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s 21-point performance and Julius Randle’s double-double, the Los Angeles Lakers completed a dramatic, comeback victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.

With the win, the Lakers improved to 8-10 and found themselves in a three-way tie with the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder for the eight seed in the Western Conference. Los Angeles held the advantage, however, as the Grizzlies and Thunder trailed the Lakers in winning percentage.

But that changed when the Lakers faced the Sacramento Kings on the second night of a back-to-back. They failed to complete another come-from-behind victory, and begin Friday one game back of the Thunder for the No. 8 seed.

In a recent interview with Mason and Ireland of ESPN LA Radio, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka discussed the importance and influence of remaining part of the playoff picture will have for the players:

“I was looking at the team that’s in the eighth spot in the West, I think for all of us, if we can stay within a stone’s throw or striking distance from being in that conversation, that’s big for us.

“It gives us a purpose to compete for that spot. I think this young team would love to hover in that area and get a chance to play when it really matters — when the playoffs kick in.”

Through the first five weeks of the season, the Lakers have already picked up impressive wins against a quartet of playoff-hopeful teams in the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards and Grizzlies.

Aiding Los Angeles in the early going is their vast improvement on the defensive side. The Lakers own the fourth-best defensive rating (101) to this point and trail only the Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers and Thunder in that category.

The Lakers’ mettle and staying power will be tested in December, when eight of their 14 games are on the road. Included in that are contests against the likes of the resurgent Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets.

WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DISCUSSION? CHECK OUT THE NEW FORUM CLUB

You May Also Like

Lakers News: Kobe Would Have Picked North Carolina Over Duke

It has long been speculated that Kobe Bryant would have chosen to…

Lakers News And Rumors Recap: Should The Lakers Trade For A Superstar?

With another losing season on the horizon, the Los Angeles Lakers are in a tough spot. They’ve missed the playoffs the past three years and are in serious danger of losing their top 3 protected pick this season…

Lakers Fantasy Values Fluctuate Due to Injuries to Steve Nash & MWP

When the Lakers are healthy, the starting lineup can be counted on…

Anthony Davis, LeBron James Praise Frank Vogel For Leading Lakers

It has been an eventful first year for Frank Vogel as Los Angeles Lakers head coach, but he has gotten them back…