The Los Angeles Lakers is a franchise that is built on winning at the highest level. The team has fallen well short the last couple of seasons, but since the front office made the trade deadline deal to bring in D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt, there has been a new energy surrounding the team.
The results on the court have been noticeable as well with the Lakers posting back-to-back blowout victories over two playoff teams in the New Orleans Pelicans and Golden State Warriors. It was Beasley who was the catalyst in the most recent win over Golden State knocking down seven 3-pointers on the way to a team-high 25 points and the new Lakers wing made it clear this team is not settling for just a playoff push.
After the Warriors win, Beasley was interviewed on TNT by Chris Haynes and said the Lakers’ ultimate goal is to win a championship and the team is pushing to move past the Play-In Tournament, via Talk Context:
“Championship. We’re going for it all, we ain’t just going to the playoffs. And right now we’re not just trying to be in the Play-In, we’re trying to be a sixth seed or fifth seed. We know what we got to do every game, it’s a statement game tonight, we got to keep going.”
The Lakers are well within striking distance for a Play-In spot at just 1.5 games behind the Utah Jazz. Even the fifth or sixth seed would seem reasonable as they are only 3.5 games behind the Dallas Mavericks, so what Beasley is talking about is far from impossible.
The issue for the Lakers making that run is that there are so many teams in between them and that goal of a fifth or sixth seed. The Lakers remain in 13th place in the Western Conference and with so many other teams still ahead of them, it will be difficult to jump all of them even if the Lakers go on a big run.
What does help the Lakers is their schedule. Four of their next five games come against teams currently ranked between sixth and 11th in the West and have multiple games remaining against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder and Jazz.
The road will not be easy, but if this team can lock in and play to their potential, they very well could accomplish these goals that Beasley laid out.
Malik Beasley describes energy surrounding Lakers as ‘immaculate’
It’s clear that Beasley truly believes in this Lakers team. He talked about the depth of the Lakers and just as important, loves the energy surrounding the team.
“I would describe it as great. Immaculate,” the Lakers wing said. “Even though we’re in a tough position right now, we see that as a challenge and we like challenges. And like I said before, we kind of made a statement tonight that we’re ready to make this playoff push and do what we got to do.”
It will definitely be a challenge for the Lakers to make this run, but they are locked in and focused to get to that goal.
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