A couple months ago I remember writing an article about the Lakers statement win vs the Bucks earlier in the season representing a turning point. While the momentum from that win may not have lasted for long then, a lot has changed. The Lakers traded away Russell Westbrook and acquired D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Mo Bamba, Rui Hachimura, and Davon Reed at the trade deadline. In just the fourth game with the new acquisitions (minus Russell who was out with an injury), the Lakers made a 27 point comeback, the biggest one for any NBA team this season (teams were 0-138 when down 27 or more) and the franchise’s biggest one in over two decades.
One could say that the game felt like a microcosm of the Lakers season so far; a nightmare start, a glimmer of hope in the middle, and a full blown catapult near the end to a victory and being just one game within a play-in spot and 2.5 of an automatic playoff birth. With 22 games remaining, a playoff run seems as realistic as it has been in the past 12 or so months. The Lakers still have about a dozen games left vs teams above them in the Western Conference standings and are as healthy as they’ve been all year. Still, there is the concern over LeBron James’ ankle which he said he heard “pop” during the huge comeback, but the depth and help around him should ease the pressure (literally and figuratively) around the NBA’s all time leading scorer.
The magical comeback Sunday afternoon will have Lakers fans thrilled and should be regarded as a statement to the league of what’s to come; LeBron James and Anthony Davis have help, and the Lakers are here to play. The Lakers stretch run continues this week with games against the Thunder (Wednesday), Wolves (Friday), and Warriors (Sunday), all of which are teams jockeying for playoff position along with LA. If they can prevail in these matchups the momentum will only build, and this seasons Hollywood script could look real good.
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Colton Courier - El Chicano - Rialto Record