As a result of the Los Angeles Lakers beating the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, the team has won two straight and may be starting to figure things out. Even though the Lakers have a win streak going, head coach Mike D'Antoni says he's not thinking about the playoffs according to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters via Twitter on Jan. 19:
"Mike D'Antoni says the team isn't thinking about the playoffs, "we need to keep plugging along." When I asked Pau, he agreed."
With the team dealing with multiple injuries to Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar and Xavier Henry, there's no telling how good this Lakers can be at full strength. That being said, D'Antoni's statement makes a lot of sense.
At this point in time, the team needs to stay afloat in the Western Conference standings while the team gets healthy and potentially ready for a playoff push.
In the meantime, D'Antoni and company will concentrate on turning things around while some of the team's best players recover from injury. The consecutive wins over the Boston Celtics and Raptors are a step in the right direction, but there's still a long way to go as the team hits the halfway point in the 2013-14 NBA season.
Fortunately, while Bryant and Nash are on the mend, Pau Gasol has stepped up his game. The two-time NBA champion is coming off two solid performances and seems to be getting back to form as one of the best forwards in the game.
Newcomer Kendall Marshall has also played well averaging 12.2 assists per game since taking over as the starting point guard. As long as Gasol, Marshall and leading scorer Nick Young can continue to play well, the Lakers might be able to stay competitive while awaiting the return of their superstar.
Follow the Los Angeles Lakers Examiner on Twitter: @Lakers_Examiner
Check out Ryan Ward's articles at LakersNation.com