While the Lakers currently sit 11th in the Western Conference standings with a record of 29-31, All-Star forward LeBron James says his team is still in a good place, despite their recent struggles.
The Lakers have lost four of their past five games, dropping their past two against the sub .500 Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans, with the latter visiting STAPLES Center today.
"We like where we are," James said, via ESPN's Dave McMenamin.
With the spotlight firmly on the Lakers, who face the reality of missing the playoffs after sitting fourth in the West prior to LeBron's 17-game absence due to injury, James said that any players letting distractions affect their play were on the "wrong franchise."
"It's hard to kind of (determine) what I say to you guys that filters back to my guys," James responded when asked if his message to the media was the same thing being relayed to his teammates.
"For those guys, I think we try to prepare every day. And we do prepare. Not try. We prepare every day for our next challenge and we did that today. And I love the positive mindset that we have, even with the struggle that we've had the last 10 games. I like where we are as a ballclub today with our mindset and hopefully going forward."
The Lakers are currently three games back of the San Antonio Spurs for the eighth seed in the West; the race between the Lakers, the Sacramento Kings and the Minnesota Timberwolves is set to go right down to the wire, with just 22 regular-season games remaining on the schedule.
The Lakers have an opportunity to trim that gap today when they face the New Orleans Pelicans, who will have Anthony Davis in the lineup unlike last time around. Although Davis will play, he is set to continue his minutes restriction, which has limited his involvement in the fourth quarter of games.
Expect Anthony Davis to play 20 minutes tonight vs. Lakers. He'll play 5-7 mins in 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters again.- Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) February 27, 2019
"We have an opportunity today to make the most of today and not worry about what happened in the past," James added. "We're not worried about what the time strain is or what everyone else is saying. I think it's what happens in here and I feel good about where we are."
The Lakers take on the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday night at 10:30 p.m. on TSN 1/5.