Former Los Angeles Lakers forward and current Washington Wizards star Kyle Kuzma issued a strong tweet about the purple and gold on April 11.
The swingman believes the Lakers can get to the NBA Finals this year.
The Lakers went 18-9 after the February trade deadline and finished the regular season with 43 wins. Los Angeles will face the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 7-8 play-in game on April 11. The winner will be the seventh seed in the Western Conference and go up against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the 2023 playoffs, while the loser will take on the winner of the 9-10 play-in game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder to determine who the eighth seed is.
“We’re just looking forward to the opportunity,” Lakers head coach Darvin Ham said. “Starting where we started at earlier in the year, and now sitting where we find ourselves sitting, we’re excited. Guys are ready to go. We’ve got great synergy in our locker room. Need to clean up some stuff defensively, but outside of that, we’re ready to go.”
Darvin Ham: ‘I Just Think the Sky’s the Limit’
Ham believes the Lakers can make noise in the playoffs if they win one play-in game.
“I just think the sky’s the limit, man,” Ham said. “I think if we’re healthy and we get the team to pay attention to detail and continue to alleviate mistakes that may be a little repetitive and sustain the things we’re doing well, I think sky’s the limit. Any team with LeBron James and a healthy Anthony Davis, D’Lo, Dennis, Austin – all these guys – Vando … We’re not going to put a ceiling on our own selves.”
“The Lakers’ goals are much loftier than a Play-In Tournament win,” Buha wrote on April 10. “They want to win a championship. They believe they can make a deep playoff run — their status as a No. 7 seed notwithstanding. Their recent play reinforces their confidence. For nearly one-third of the season, the Lakers’ new group has resembled a dark horse contender. Since Feb. 11, the Lakers have the best record in the West and the second-best win percentage in the league (.692) behind the No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks. Los Angeles also has the sixth-best net rating overall and the second-best net rating in the West over that span.”
LeBron James on the Timberwolves: ‘We Know What We’re Getting Ourselves Into’
Lakers superstar LeBron James understands that he and his teammates have to be locked in on both ends of the floor against the Timberwolves, who went 2-1 versus the LakeShow during the regular season.
“It’s a challenge versus everybody and Minnesota is no different,” James said. “When you got guys like KAT (Karl-Anthony Towns) and Anthony Edwards, those guys can both go for 40 against you. … You have a very cerebral, solid point guard in Mike Conley who’s been in multiple playoff games. So listen, we know what we’re getting ourselves into.”