Center Timofey Mozgov arrived at the Los Angeles Lakers’ first training camp in late September with a specific goal (and question) for the team.
As the veteran centre pointed out, “why are we even playing?” if we aren’t going to make the playoffs?
Winners on The Way
“Why are we playing?” seemed like a simple question to answer. The Lakers’ primary focus should have been on developing their young, promising players like Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell, and Julius Randle after winning just 17 games last year. The team’s chances of succeeding in the Western Conference were slim to none.
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.
The Lakers now sit in ninth place in the Western Conference with a record of 10-10, which is good for a quarter of the season.
This is a great accomplishment for us because it shows how hard our players are working and how much trust they have in each other,” coach Luke Walton said. It’s my belief that if we keep playing hard and competing, we’ll eventually master the more challenging material, and then we’ll see real progress.
Ten of the next 13 games the Lakers play will be away from home. All but one (seven of the thirteen) of these games are against teams currently ranked in the top eight of their respective conferences.
As if things couldn’t get any worse, Russell will be out for at least the next three games due to a sore left knee. Young, meanwhile, will miss eight to fifteen games due to a right calf strain that is expected to keep him out for two to four weeks.
If they can win five of the 13 games, they’ll fall three games behind.
On Christmas Day, 500 (15-18) will face the Clippers at Staples Center. That is when the importance of this team’s playoff chances will become clearer. The Los Angeles Lakers will have a total of 49 games remaining before the playoffs, including the holiday (with 21 on the road).