LeBron James insists Lakers must stay on track for play in games

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LeBron James has stated that Lakers must put them on track as they prepare to face Wolves in the play in game.

Los Angeles Lakers player LeBron James has stated that they have to get themselves on track and prepare hard for the play in games.

Sunday’s regular-season finale, a 128-117 win over the Utah Jazz, didn’t guarantee L.A. a first-round berth, but it will be playing beyond game No. 82.

The Lakers clinched the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference play-in tournament and will host the No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.

A win would lock the Lakers into a first-round series with the No. 2 Memphis Grizzlies, starting on the road Sunday. A loss would mean L.A. plays again Friday at home against the winner of the play-in game between the No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans and No. 10 Oklahoma City Thunder in order to earn the No. 8 seed and a first-round matchup with the No. 1 Denver Nuggets, which would also start on the road Sunday.

“Obviously it’s different because usually in the postseason you have multiple days of prep for a team. But you literally have one day to prep,” LeBron James said after scoring a team-high 36 points against Utah. “But you’re kind of locked in on everything that needs to be done. For us, it’s just good that we don’t need to travel. We’ve traveled a lot lately. It’s good that we get to stay here, but we shouldn’t be comfortable. We have to stay on edge and get ready for the game.”

James detailed the threat the Wolves present, regardless.

“It’s a challenge versus everybody, and Minnesota is no different,” James said. “When you got guys like KAT [Karl-Anthony Towns] and Anthony Edwards, those guys can both go for 40 against you. … You have a very cerebral, solid point guard in Mike Conley who’s been in multiple playoff games. So, listen, we know what we’re getting ourselves into.”

While the Lakers still need to win one more game to stamp their playoff goal, for a team that started the season 2-10, Sunday’s result was an occasion for the team to be appreciative of the journey it’s been on so far.

“We put ourselves in a position where we can move on. That’s all we asked for, to put ourselves in a position to move on,” James said. “We obviously had a very, very slow start. … So, to know where we are today, you can be happy about that but not satisfied.”


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