Things are quickly going from bad to worse for the Los Angeles Lakers. They can’t stay healthy and they’ve lost seven of their last nine games. With LeBron James and Dennis Schroder expected to miss more games, there’s no end to the slump in sight.
The Lakers are now tied with the Portland Trail Blazers as the seventh seed in the Western Conference. Los Angeles holds the tiebreaker but they are dangerously close to having to play in the play-in tournament just to get into the playoffs. Considering how they’ve played recently, that’s a far from ideal situation. While LeBron has already made it abundantly clear that he’s not a fan of the play-in tournament, veteran forward Markieff Morris isn’t nearly as concerned.
“I think I’ve said before, we wasn’t thinking about the damn play-in game,” Morris said Thursday, via ESPN. “If it happens, it happens. If we’re healthy, s***, I would want to avoid us if I was the top two teams.”
Those are some strong words from Morris but he’s right that the 7-10 seeds won’t want to play the Lakers, especially since LeBron and Schroder should be playing by then.
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Anthony Davis Knows Lakers Need More Games
The entirety of Laker Nation was almost struck with disaster during Thursday’s game against the Clippers. Anthony Davis had to leave the game early after it seemed like his ankle was bothering him. Fortunately, it was just back spasms and he shouldn’t miss any additional time.
The superstar big man has not been playing his best basketball since his return. He clearly needs more reps to get back into the swing of things. He even went so far as to suggest that the play-in tournament might be a good thing for the team before walking it back a bit.
“I mean, we don’t look at it as something bad,” Davis said Thursday. “To be honest, we need a lot of games. We need games to get back accustomed to each other, anyway.”
“Obviously, we don’t want to go that route,” he said. “But if it happens, it happens. We’re gonna win games in the play-in and then get ready for whoever we play in the first round and take care of business from there. So, we look at it as game reps in the play-in. And if not, then we got a little bit more practice time to get accustomed to each other. So, either way, we’re fine either way.”
Frank Vogel Is Rolling With the Punches
At the end of the day, there’s very little the Lakers can control right now. Obviously, they can start winning but that’s easier said than done right now with all the injuries they’re dealing with. Head coach Frank Vogel is ready to accept whatever fate that his team is given.
“The play-in tournament is out of my control,” Vogel said Thursday. “If we’re in it, we’ll compete and we’ll win those games so that we can try to advance. Whether we should have one or not is really not up to me. So I don’t spend too much time or thought on whether it’s good or not.”