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Several realistic goals stand out for a Lakers team with great expectations in the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
The Los Angeles Lakers get the fun honor of taking part in this year’s play-in tournament. The first matchup is against the Golden State Warriors in what is a dream scenario for the NBA with this new format.
But the Lakers are expecting to win and have lofty goals for the postseason after winning last year’s unique championship.
Let’s look at some realistic goals for the 2021 NBA Playoffs as the Lakers’ postseason begins early.
3. Get LeBron, AD and Dennis Schroder healthy and rust-free
Health is one essential key for this Lakers squad. Most importantly, LeBron James needs to be on the floor for the Lakers to have any chance of winning.
Injuries to key players is a key reason why the Lakers are the No. 7 seed at this point. LeBron missed 27 games this season due to a high ankle sprain, Anthony Davis missed 36 with a calf strain and Dennis Schroder missed two weeks due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
But fans did see a nice sight Sunday when James and Davis were on the floor in an easy win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Schroder was also back, and the Lakers look whole again. Now fans can see how a player like Andre Drummond fits in when the normal sets are being run with the stars on the floor.
The problem now is the Lakers do not have much room for error and very little time to develop championship-caliber cohesion. A loss to the Warriors sets up a do-or-die game against the winner of the other play-in matchup. The Lakers would be heavy favorites, but nothing is given.
It appears getting the top guys back has been accomplished. Next up is hoping everyone is rust-free before it is too late.