“They are a serious threat in the West right now,” Green said of the Lakers. “Talk about the record all you want, they just gotta get in. They get in, they a serious threat in the West.”
Los Angeles is currently the No. 10 seed in the Western Conference, but the team has played much better since adding D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasely, Jarred Vanderbilt, Mo Bamba and Rui Hachimura around the trade deadline.
That’s given the team much more depth on the roster, and the Lakers have climbed into the play-in tournament field even though LeBron James is currently out of the lineup with a foot injury.
If James can return for the end of the regular season, the Lakers could make a serious jump in the standings.
Right now, just three games separate the No. 5-seeded Los Angeles Clippers from the No. 12-seeded Utah Jazz in the West. That means there is still a ton of mobility in the standings for teams fighting in the play-in picture.
Green and the Warriors are one of those teams, as they hold the No. 6 seed in the West, 1.5 games ahead of the Lakers.
It’s clear that Green isn’t underestimating the Lakers, especially since they have two superstars in James and Anthony Davis on the roster.
In the 2019-20 season, James and Davis were both healthy and led the Lakers to an NBA title. The following season, James was hampered by an ankle injury that led to the team falling into the play-in tournament.
Los Angeles earned the No. 7 seed in the West that season, but it was knocked out of the playoffs by the Phoenix Suns. The Lakers are looking to avoid a similar fate this season, and Green seems to think that they can.
If the Lakers make the postseason by way of the play-in tournament, they will either play the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the West in the first round of the playoffs.
While that isn’t ideal, it also could make the team’s path to a title a little easier if it is able to knock off a top seed early in the postseason.