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By Steve Finley
Sports Editor 

Can the Lakers make the playoffs without Davis in the lineup?

 

January 5, 2023

JEVONE MOORE

Russell Westbrook, with the ball, scored 21 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out nine assists against Miami last Wednesday night. The Lakers play the Atlanta Hawks on Friday at home at 7:30 p.m. and the travel to Sacramento to play the Kings at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

The Lakers are currently in 13th place in the NBA's Western Conference and right now they are not in a good position to make the playoffs without Anthony Davis in the lineup. Eight teams make the playoffs in each conference and if you include the Play-In Tournament 10 teams are eligible. Right now, the Lakers are fighting to make the Play-In Tournament.

Why are the Lakers in 13th place in their conference? One of the main reasons is the absence of Davis. The other reason is the lack of consistent play from most of their players.

At 38 years old LeBron James is playing like the superstar that he is. If some of the other players on the team can play like they did last Wednesday night when they beat a good Miami Heat team 112-109 in front of 18,997 fans at the Crypto.com Arena the Lakers should make the playoffs. The problem is they don't play like that every night. They beat the Heat without Davis and James in the lineup.

"I told the team before the game is the only mistake they can make is not be competitive and not be together," said a happy Laker head coach Darvin Ham after the game. "If we can do those two things we can live with the results. It's a total team effort. No matter what happens we have to play that way every night."

JEVONE MOORE

Lakers star LeBron James scores two points over Clipper forward Nicolas Batum.

Against the Heat guard Dennis Schroder scored 32 points, grabbed four rebounds and had four steals. Their center, Thomas Bryant had nine rebounds and scored 21 points and their other superstar player Russell Westbrook had 21 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.

The good news for the Lakers they appear to have the right coach in Darvin Ham. He is a players coach who was a good NBA player and he has used his experience as a player and coach to put himself in the position to be one of the best coaches in the NBA. When you hear him talk after games you can feel the desire he has for winning. Now if he can only get his players to feel the same way the Lakers will make the playoffs with or without Davis.

 

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