The Los Angeles Lakers are getting into a vital time of their schedule after the All-Star break. With simply 23 video games remaining within the common season, the Lakers are 5 video games underneath .500 (27-32) and have a seven-game stretch the place they’ll play all Western Conference foes, beginning with the Golden State Warriors, Thursday night time. First-year head coach Darvin Ham spoke on Wednesday in regards to the crew’s purpose and what they’re striving for on this stretch run.
“Yeah, the purpose is for us to come back out and attempt to be the perfect model of ourselves every sport, however undoubtedly, if we will go and safe a spot, that’s our purpose proper there,” Ham said. “If we fall right into a play-in state of affairs, so be it. However our No. 1 purpose is to go safe a spot [and] not simply throw video games off right here or there [and] simply want for a play-in. We wish to go safe a spot.”
Over the following seven video games, L.A. will play Golden State twiceDallas, Memphis twiceOklahoma Metropolis, and Minnesota. All these groups are at present forward of the Lakers within the standings. Proper now, Los Angeles is two video games out of the final play-in spot occupied by the Thunder. The Lakers and Thunder sq. off on March 1 in OKC, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is on the lookout for some payback on LeBron James after he blocked his dunk try within the All-Star sport.
It’s good to listen to Ham maintain it actual in his expectation for this Lakers squad, however placing this plan into movement is far simpler stated than accomplished. James has performed in a single sport since setting the brand new all-time scoring record over two weeks in the past. It’s humorous how he participated in that sport simply earlier than the All-Star break in opposition to New Orleans. In the event you purchase this damage ankle crap, extra energy to you. However it clearly wasn’t unhealthy sufficient that he couldn’t have performed in these video games instantly following his passing of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar within the document books.
Want greater than LeBron
At this level, Ham can’t depend on LeBron to play each sport, whether or not injured or not, and we’ve by no means actually been in a position to depend on the well being of Anthony Davis. All of the commerce deadline strikes on the planet received’t quantity to something with out these two within the lineup. Bringing D’Angelo Russell back to L.A. will assist so long as there aren’t any digital camera telephones round him within the locker room. The addition of Russell is a pleasant pickup and creates a terrific third choice who knocks down open pictures. However with out Bron and AD on the ground constantly, the chances of the Lakers making a playoff push are slim.
In fact, each crew wish to keep away from the one-game situation of the play-in, however realistically that is the perfect wager for LA. James remains to be nice when he’s on the market however wants extra assist than ever earlier than, and rightfully so. It’s powerful although when the principle man tasked with serving to not often performs. The percentages of the Lakers successful sufficient video games to leap into the highest six within the west are about pretty much as good as Stephen A. Smith not saying one thing egregious the following time he’s on air. Or SAS being invited to a Rihanna fan occasion. It’s not taking place.
Los Angeles must win not less than 5 of the following seven video games to make up any important floor within the standings. Their stars must play. This crew isn’t deep sufficient to overlook both star for a substantial period of time, as we’ve seen since they received the bubble championship in 2020. Good luck, Lakers. You’re actually going to want it.