After this past weekend's All-Star game, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and the rest of the Los Angeles Lakers are keeping their eye on the prize: the NBA finals.
After a long practice on Monday, the 38-19 Lakers, ranked third in the West, are looking to keep themselves in contention to enter the playoffs on a roll to capture a third-straight championship.
"We can’t afford to keep on dying in the standings," Lakers center Andrew Bynum said after practice, according to the Los Angeles Times. "We need some wins to try to get better position than where we are because we still want to have home court against everyone else except San Antonio."
Since the 2007-2008 season up until last year, the Lakers have consistently placed first in the West, making their current standing behind the San Antonio Spurs and the Dallas Mavericks even more unusual.
At the moment, the Lakers are on an uncharacteristic three-game losing skid, including a loss on Feb. 17 to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who this season managed a notorious 26-game losing streak, which is an NBA record.
“I’m concerned—it’s no different than last season or the season before that. There’s always concern,” Bryant said, adding that the San Antonio Spurs have similar concerns.
“The eagerness is just to get the ball rolling,” Byrant said, adding that the Lakers need to “sharpen up” offensively, defensively, and lessen the turnovers.
Kobe Bryant tied the all-time record for NBA All-Star Game MVPs with four as he led the West team to a 148-143 win over the East on Sunday night.
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