The Los Angeles Lakers went into the All-Star Break in a bit of a spiral and outside of the Western Conference playoffs with 25 games remaining. LeBron James made it clear he was up for rising to the level of the challenge, and through one game delivered on that promise.
If the Lakers do manage to get into the playoffs, it would be advised they avoid the eighth seed so as not to draw the Golden State Warriors in the first round. Though, that’s not of any concern to James.
“Yeah, I mean if I can get into the postseason, whatever team I got, I feel like we’ve got a good chance,” he said. “Obviously, you want to be playing at a high level going into the postseason and try to ride that wave.”
The Lakers will need to play great basketball, with an immense number of must-win games. James seems up to the task though, saying, “We’re looking forward to seeing how well we can play and try to get into the playoffs and ride the momentum of how we played to get there.”
In their final 24 games, the Lakers have two matchups against the eight-seeded Clippers, one with the ninth-seeded Sacramento Kings, and two against the Utah Jazz, who are currently tied for the six with the San Antonio Spurs.
These are arguably the most vital games, but something the Lakers will need to be extra focused on is winning contest against non-playoff teams. As it stands, they are currently 11-10 against teams who have been all but eliminated from playoff contention, including two losses to the Orlando Magic, and losses to the Memphis Grizzlies, New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and multiple losses to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
If the Lakers do make the playoffs and don’t play the Warriors in the first round, then James is right, they’ll have a good chance to make some noise.
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