Coming into the 2014-15 NBA season, no one gave the Los Angeles Lakers much of a chance to compete for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Kobe Bryant was coming off consecutive season-ending injuries at 36-years-old and the team seemed to be held together with duct tape for one more year until the majority of the contracts come off the books this summer.
Before Friday’s loss against the Dallas Mavericks, the Lakers showed signs of promise with two straight wins in Nick Young’s return. Unfortunately, losing to the Mavs by 34 points has many believing Lakers are back to form as one of the worst teams in the league.
After the game against Dallas on Friday night, veteran forward Carlos Boozer spoke to media and said the team is still aiming for the eighth spot in the West, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Carlos Boozer: "We still have a chance to catch up to that 8th spot. That's what we're fighting for." (on TWC)
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) November 22, 2014
With so many talented teams in the conference this season, Kobe and company will have their work cut out for them moving forward. Almost every team in the West appears capable of competing for a playoff spot at this point with no consensus on which eight teams will end up in the postseason come April.
Now that 13 games are in the books, 69 remain for the Lakers as they try to turn things around under new head coach Byron Scott. Anything can happen between now and the end of the regular season, but performances like these just can’t happen if they want to clinch a playoff spot in five months time.
A lot of people have already written this team off and think it would benefit the franchise to stay where they’re in the standings to keep their draft pick away from the Phoenix Suns. It is early in the season, but consistency remains a problem, especially on the defensive end of the floor.
Kobe, ‘Things Go Good, It’s Us. Things Go Bad, It’s Me’