HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — With home court advantage throughout the playoffs still up for grabs among the league’s elite, it’s rather surprising to hear that the Lakers aren’t worrying much about that or anything else other than the Thursday’s showdown with the Dallas Mavericks.
If any team out there wanted to carry on about lofty playoff goals, the Lakers have earned the right to do so. Not only are the two-time defending champs afforded such liberties here at the hideout, they’re playing as well as any team in basketball since the All-Star break.
Per the Los Angeles Times, their 15-1 record after the All-Star break made them only the fifth team to produce that mark since the All-Star game was introduced in 1951. Three of the four teams to do so — Detroit (1989-90), Chicago (1990-91) and the Lakers (1999-2000) — went on to win the NBA championship.
Once again, if the Lakers want to set their sights on the Spurs and that top spot in the league and the Western Conference, we’re fine with it.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson doesn’t sound like a man interested in playing that game. He only wants to talk about the what his team can control. More from my main man Broderick Turner of the LA Times:
“Without a doubt, you would always want to go for that,” Jackson said. “But right now, our sights are Dallas and Thursday night’s game.”
The Lakers (53-20) are 3 1/2 games behind the Spurs for the best record in the NBA and tied with the Chicago Bulls for the second-best record in the league.
San Antonio, which has lost four consecutive games, has eight regular-season games left. The Lakers, who host the Spurs on April 12, have nine games left.
It would take a collapse by the Spurs for the Lakers to overtake San Antonio.
“It’s still a real longshot for that,” Jackson said. “They only have to win a couple of games here and we have to go perfect. So it’s real difficult to see that. But we still play it out. It’s still what we do.”