We have all faced a moment in our lives when we have felt like we're kind of just floating around in space, and we're not entirely sure if our future is extremely bright, or that some bad karma is headed our way. Some people are glass half-empty. They are pretty realistic with their potential and know what they are and don't really have the drive to make their future, but instead accept their future and succeed in their goals. Some people are glass half-full. They live in reality and somewhat of a fantasy and consistently believe that good things will happen, and usually reach for impossible goals and sometimes fail. Live how you want to live, brothers and sisters. Although, I will say I am inspired by one group of guys who are trying to reach some impossible goals.
We have reached the point in the NBA season where teams are either tanking or going hard to make the playoffs. But there is one team that was looking like they were heading for tank season, but a mid-season push has helped them find a way into the playoff race. Well not entirely, the Lakers are 6.5 games back with 16 games to play. They will pretty much have to win out and will need some help from other teams. While it seems pretty impossible, with the way this team is playing right now, it is not improbable.
When we think of things that are out of the realm of possibility, some that come to mind are time travel, mind reading, and winning the lottery without actually playing the lottery. But this is basketball, anything is possible. A trade deadline move for an all-star caliber point guard in Isaiah Thomas, has added depth and playoff experience. At times, it hasn't looked exactly pretty, but with a team that has 11 guys under the age of 25 you come to expect some sloppy basketball. Yet, age and lack of experience has not stopped these guys from putting themselves in a position to have a chance to make the playoffs.
That's all we need in life, a chance. A chance to prove that we have what it takes to just be mentioned. Since Lonzo Ball has returned from injury, the Lakers have gone 8-2 with 4 of those wins coming against teams currently in the playoff picture. His ability to distribute the ball to his playmakers and shooters has eased the load for the rest of the squad. Isaiah Thomas is currently in a position where he can come off the bench and simply be a scorer and clutch free throw shooter, something the Lakers were desperately needing. Kyle Kuzma has cooled off since his hot start to the season, but he continues to make plays when needed and is always trying to set the example. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has shot the ball much better as of late, and has even found himself as the leading scorer during this stretch.
But one guy who has led the team with his play and his heart is Julius Randle. At 6'9" many around the basketball world would say he is undersized for the center position, but this has not stopped him from donating the boards and occasionally playing some bully ball. In their primetime matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers, there was no answer for Randle. In 38 minutes he scored 36 points on 14-18 shooting to go along with 14 rebounds and 7 assists. Randle has consistently heard from the media and doubters that he will be the odd man out this offseason. If this is to be true, the Lakers are going to have a big void to fill.
Now for them to make the playoffs, it is going to take some tough wins against the NBA's best teams. The Nuggets, Clippers, and Jazz or Spurs are going to have to fall off for the rest of the way. But in the NFL, we saw the Buffalo Bills make the playoffs in the last minute of the season in another team's game, so why not? The Lakers have shown drastic improvements over the second half of the season in comparison to the first. If they continue to improve with the time they have left, they may just find themselves with a chance to get into the playoffs on the last game of the season in front of their fans at the Staples Center. I see the glass as half-full for these guys, and it's still filling up.
In case you guys didn't know before, I'm a believer in the BBB business structure. Sorry.
Just a man trying to make the most of his time on this planet.