Los Angeles Lakers Fighting Just to Make N.B.A. Playoffs

LOS ANGELES, CA — Center Timofey Mozgov arrived at the Los Angeles Lakers’ first training camp in late September with a specific purpose (and question) for the squad.

We should be in the playoffs or not be playing,” the veteran centre asserted. “Why are we playing?” seemed to have an easy explanation.

Western Conference playoffs

It was time for the Lakers to focus on developing their potential young players, such Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, after winning just 17 games last season.

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Western Conference playoffs

They had no chance of making the Western Conference playoffs. ESPN.com predicted that the Los Angeles Lakers would win just 25 games this season and finish at the bottom of the Western Conference.

On Wednesday night in Chicago, the Los Angeles Lakers overcame a 14-point deficit to defeat the Chicago Bulls, 96-90, on the second night of a back-to-back.

Why Did James Raised His Eyebrows?

Les Snead and Sam Presti, the general managers of the LA Rams and the Oklahoma City Thunder were both commended by LeBron James at All-Star Weekend.

When he was asked a seemingly benign question about one of his players at the press conference following the Rams’ Super Bowl victory. The Lakers’ front management was singled out in several of his comments.

This led to a lot of debate about whether James and the Lakers were officially divorced when James told The Athletic that he hadn’t completely closed the door on returning to Cleveland.

In retrospect, it’s obvious that it isn’t. According to James, too much was made of his post-All-Star Game comments. It was “simply noise,” according to Vogel.

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Skeptics questioned whether the Lakers’ “Big Three” of Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis, acquired as part of an offseason transaction with the Wizards, could bring a title to Los Angeles.

Some of those doubters grew even louder when the team’s executive office filled out the roster with players who were past their prime.

But even the most sceptics of the Los Angeles Lakers couldn’t have predicted this outcome. Los Angeles is fighting for a position in the Western Conference Play-In Tournament as the 2021-22 regular season draws to a close.