The first half of the Lakers’ season was not what anyone expected. Injuries, coaching changes and a lack of team chemistry headlined the long list of problems that the Lakers were trying to desperately play through.
As a result, the team dug themselves a huge hole in the standings, and created a bit of a circus-like environment around them.
However, the Lakers have seemed to finally turn a corner, as their performance and attitude on and off the court has much improved. In fact, they are 6-2 since the All-Star break.
This recent progress has spurred Laker legend Jerry West to offer his insight on the matter, and it’s something Lakers fans will enjoy hearing. According to the Los Angeles Times, West told the website SportsOnEarth.com last Sunday:
“The Lakers are playing better now, especially defensively. I think they’ll make the playoffs. I think the worst is behind them.”
Sounds good, right? West furthered offered his experience with a team facing and responding to adversity, just as the Lakers have been.
“What people don’t understand is the enormous adjustment you have to make as a player in those situations,” West said. “I was a scorer. Elgin [Baylor] was a scorer and Wilt [Chamberlain], even then, liked the ball. We all had to put everything else aside.”
The Lakers are still dealing with the injury bug late into the season, but aren’t using it as an excuse. They have also had issues of making the right adjustments with the Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard two-man game, but they were on the exact same page last night against New Orleans.
The Lakers are now within arms reach of a playoff spot as they are now just one and a half games behind the Utah Jazz for that coveted eighth spot in the West.
The Lakers are four games behind the Golden State Warriors, who Jerry West is a consultant for, for the six spot in the West. The Lakers have already won both of their games against Golden State so far this season. The Warriors have lost 10 of their last 15 games, and will meet up with the Lakers two more times this season.