As the NBA season approaches the home stretch, the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in a tough position. However, the recent trades and acquisitions by the team have given them renewed hope of making it to the playoffs.
After missing out on the playoffs last season, fans were optimistic about this season and how far the Lakers could go. With LeBron James leading the charge, many expected them to make a run in the playoffs. However, the Lakers had a tough start to the season, with injuries and inconsistent performances plaguing them.
As a result, they found themselves in a poor position before the all-star break, with a 27-32 record, placing them 13th in the Western Conference, two games out of the final play-in spot, and 3.5 games out of the sixth seed, which would guarantee them a first-round berth.
Despite their struggles, LeBron James remains confident in the team's ability to make the playoffs. "It's 23 of the most important games of my career, for a regular season," James said before playing in a record-tying 19th All-Star Game. "It's the type of mindset that I have, and I hope the guys will have, coming back off the break."
James, who is enjoying a strong individual season, averaging 30 points on 50.8% shooting, 8.4 rebounds, and 7.0 assists, revealed that the urgency to make the playoffs didn't start over the All-Star break but at the end of last season when the Lakers failed to qualify for the postseason. "I want to make a push to make the playoffs," James said. "I don't want to see myself not being part of the postseason for two years straight. It's just not part of my DNA. We're sitting up here talking about the [scoring] record and things of that nature, and that's all cool, but I'm more passionate about trying to make the postseason and give ourselves a chance to compete for another Larry O'Brien Trophy. That's just who I am. That's what I'm cut from."
Lakers add new names to the roster to strengthen their squad:
In recent weeks, the Lakers have made some significant moves to improve their roster. They acquired sharpshooters D'Angelo Russell from the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Malik Beasley from the Utah Jazz. The Lakers also added a much-needed spark plug and defensive specialist in Jarred Vanderbilt, and Mo Bamba from the Orlando Magic, who can spread the floor with his jump-shooting ability. All these players have added a new fire and outlook to the side. These moves have given the Lakers a much-needed boost, and the team looks poised to make a run at the playoffs.
With a roster that includes LeBron James, a fully fit Anthony Davis and these new arrivals, the Lakers have the star power to compete with anyone in the league. If they can play well from here on out, there's no reason why they can't make the playoffs.
The Lakers are 3-1 since acquiring new players
The Lakers have won 3 of their last 4 games with 2 wins coming against the last season's champions Golden State Warriors. This shows that the Lakers are in good touch, and can be a threat in the Western Conference down the last stretch of the season. They are 28-32 so far in this season.
Of course, making the playoffs won't be easy, and the Lakers will need to play at a high level to secure their spot. They have a tough schedule down the stretch, with games against some of the league's top teams, including the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Utah Jazz. But if they can stay healthy and get their new players acclimated to the team, anything is possible.