LeBron James: ‘Of Course’ Seeding Matters But Lakers Will Take On Any Challenge
LeBron James, Lakers
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

While it shouldn’t have been necessary, the Los Angeles Lakers got a vintage performance from LeBron James on Friday night to beat the shorthanded Memphis Grizzlies.

With what should have been a blowout going down to the wire, James took over in the second half and finished with 37 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two steals, including one to seal the victory, capping it off by throwing down a reverse dunk in transition.

After the win, James discussed him turning it on in the second half of a must-win game understanding how tight the standings are.

“Just trying to ignite the teammates trying to understand what the moment at hand is,” James said. “Coming into the game, we all knew it was a three-way tie between us, Golden State and Sacramento. A lot of implications going on. Obviously those games will play out how they play out and that will take care of itself. But we need to take care of us and I feel like we wasn’t playing with enough sense of urgency. So I just tried to see if I could step it up defensively, get them to change their tempo and see if my guys would follow.”

Having played in as many playoff games as he has, LeBron understands the need for the Lakers to climb up as high in the standings as they can to get the best seed possible.

“Of course it matters. Every game matters, every seed matters,” James added. “But however you fall, wherever you fall, you can’t play in the past. But absolutely, I can’t sit here and say I’d much rather be where we are today than the one seed. That would be a lie. So of course seeds matter, but wherever you fall, you take that challenge.”

Friday’s win was a big one even if it was against an inferior opponent as the Lakers got some help across the league to jump from 10th in the West to eighth.

With only one regular season game remaining, the Lakers can clinch the eighth spot going into the Play-In Tournament with a win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday. That would give them two opportunity to win in the Play-In Tournament and reach the postseason as opposed to needing to win two in a row if they finish ninth or 10th.

Given the importance of that game, James made sure to state that he’ll be ready to go for his team.

“I’ll be ready for Sunday,” James concluded despite playing 41 minutes in Memphis on Friday night.

LeBron James admits to thinking about previous games Lakers lost

Despite having a solid 46-35 record, the Lakers are fighting for positioning in the Play-In Tournament as opposed to having a better seed locked up.

The reason for that is they lost a number of games they shouldn’t have earlier in the season, and LeBron James admitted that he often thinks about those losses even though he knows nothing can be changed now.

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