LeBron James Sends Telling Message on Lakers’ Playoff Push

 

GettyLeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers have gained some separation from the Golden State Warriors in the Play-In Tournament race, building a 1.5-game lead over their Western Conference counterparts entering play on March 24.

The Lakers remain three games behind the Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks for seventh and eighth place, respectively. They also have a tougher remaining strength of schedule than Dallas and Golden State, per Tankathon.


That is a non-factor in their approach in the eyes of LeBron James, though.

“At the end of the day, we’re not really focused on seeding,” James said, per the Los Angeles Times’ Dan Woike. “We’re just focused on what we can control. We can’t control the seedings if other teams are playing too well still. What you can control is go out and play and try to win as many games as you can and see where you land.”

LeBron James on the #Lakers‘ fourth-quarter execution and defense against the Sixers.

Getting the ninth seed would mean a home game for James and the Lakers against the 10th-seeded Warriors in the first round of the Play-In Tournament.


Their last regular season meeting on April 9 could have significant postseason implications.

LeBron James, Lakers Heading for Another Road-Heavy Postseason

The Lakers are down in the season series two games to one. They also have a 26-12 record at home compared to 12-20 on the road. But their lone win did come on the road, perhaps strengthening their view on seeding.

They will also face a road-heavy path back to the Western Conference Finals if they advance that far into the playoffs.

Lakers perfect playoff run & an instant statue for LeBron & AD:

beat GS in play-in G1beat SAC in play-in G2beat OKC in Rd. 1beat Clippers in Rd. 2beat Nuggets in Conf. Finalsbeat Celtics in NBA Finals

the perfect playoff run.it definitely won’t happen.but damn.

Their route in 2023 was similar after they finished as the seventh seed.

They were still the lower-seeded team in their three playoff series, one each against the Warriors, Denver Nuggets, and Memphis Grizzlies. James and the Lakers dispatched the Grizzlies and Warriors in six games apiece.

They only looked overmatched in the sweep by the Nuggets. So it makes sense for their focus to remain on being at their best for a potential rematch.

They wouldn’t meet the Nuggets in a potential rematch until the Western Conference Finals.

Lakers Insider Offers Clarity on Injuries

The saga of the injured Lakers continues. There have been conflicting reports on the health status of Gabe Vincent, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Christian Wood.

But The Athletic’s Lakers insider Jovan Buha cleared some things up.

“Wood is expected to miss the rest of the regular season; there’s a chance he’ll return for Play-In game(s) or the playoffs if the Lakers get there, according to team sources,” Buha wrote on March 22.

“There is less clarity with Vanderbilt and Vincent. Neither has been ruled out for the rest of the season, but of the two, there is more internal optimism that Vanderbilt will return before the regular season ends next month, according to team and league sources. If either or both players had been healthy, they may have altered the direction of the Lakers’ season.”

The Lakers haven’t had those three for most of the season. There is less of an adjustment if they remain out.

Darvin Ham Sheds Light on Injured Lakers’ Statuses Amid Conflicting Reports

Still, the lack of depth could be concerning entering the postseason.

The Lakers have mostly avoided significant injuries to James and Anthony Davis this season. Both have battled injuries over the last few seasons. They will certainly need them even more without those members of the rotation.



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