The Lakers don’t really feel strain when the dash to the top begins

The Lakers arrived at their observe facility Tuesday and took a workforce photograph.

They are going to start to know on Wednesday if these smiles can final.

The sport towards the Phoenix Suns in Los Angeles kicks off the ultimate 10 of an up-and-down season, one during which optimism has slowly grown over the previous month regardless of the workforce by no means reaching .500.

In a standard season, that may sign some type of second to begin operating, the starter’s pistol firing a second time to sign the final lap. This season, Sport 72 is simply one other must-win.

Whereas the sport towards Phoenix is ​​necessary, so is Friday’s sport towards Oklahoma Metropolis. And the 2 with Chicago and the video games in Minnesota, Houston and Utah, plus the one with the Clippers and two at house to finish the season towards the Suns and Jazz.

With the play-in and playoff races So tight, the Lakers have wanted to method the previous month with a way of urgency.

Having solely 10 video games left shouldn’t change that.

Coach Darvin Ham stated this extended drive has not left his workforce noticeably mentally fatigued. He has principally seen the other.

“It has prompted them to come back to the sport on excessive alert and with loads of consciousness,” he stated. “Simply having one thing to play for. You’d be shocked how comfy guys are with that as a substitute of getting to play some pointless sport. I believe the truth that these video games carry a lot weight is inflicting our guys to pay extra consideration. I don’t see any stress. I solely see guys who determine it out as a result of they wish to be part of this workforce, make it to the postseason and run.

“So stress, nervousness, I don’t see that. My teaching workers and I talked about it this morning, they don’t see that from our gamers. I see slightly starvation.”

Should you’re searching for a date the Lakers “push” started, February 11 is a begin. That was the primary sport after the commerce deadline when the workforce’s new acquisitions turned out there. Within the 16 video games this model of the Lakers has performed, the Lakers have received 10 instances though LeBron James performed solely thrice.

Ham stated Tuesday there aren’t any modifications for the Lakers on the harm entrance. As for the sport plan towards the Suns, it’s clear.

It is usually the one they’ll have 9 extra instances after Wednesday.

“You already know, going out and making an attempt to be the perfect model of ourselves like all the time. I’m simply seeking to proceed to construct on what we’re doing very effectively and attempt to change and alleviate what we’re not doing so effectively,” Ham stated. “In opposition to that workforce, our protection must be sharp. We are able to’t take them out on the free throw line and we’ve got to maintain a watch out for them in transition. And we’ve got to carry them to a possession. … After which on the opposite aspect of the ball, simply to guarantee that we’re giving ourselves an opportunity on the offensive finish by being disciplined in our operating habits and taking good care of the ball. Have a very excessive stage of ball safety. It permits us to get the type of photographs we wish to get. And simply to continually love and dwell in portray.

“However (it’s not) simply Phoenix, that’s our message going ahead, no matter who we play.”

Nonetheless, the truth is that it’s not nearly who the Lakers play towards, however how the groups they compete towards carry out. And that’s altering nearly each night time.

It signifies that the Lakers can solely have one focus.

“If we’re not ready, if we’re not targeted on how we might be the perfect model of ourselves, profiting from totally different moments, and never so good moments, good moments, from these earlier video games and placing them collectively and them beneath the classes that we’ve been emphasizing all 12 months about how we might be higher at these key arenas and these key segments of the sport, then we’re kidding ourselves if we expect we’ll be capable of go any additional. this common season,” Ham stated.

“So loads of the main focus has been, positively having a look right here and there in qualifying, however the important thing focus has been on us getting higher and higher each day.”