Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 2/9/12
The Lakers hardly deserve favorable reviews. They enter Thursday's game against the Boston Celtics with a 14-11 record and a seventh playoff-seed. That's hardly satisfying for an organization fixated on championships. They've dropped two of their first three games of a six-game trip. That hardly assuages the Lakers' 3-9 road record. They remain at the bottom of the league in several statistical categories, including total offense (20th) and three-point shooting (29th). That hardly suggests much progress. But Jerry West sees otherwise. "The Lakers will be very dangerous in the playoffs," West said in a phone interview Thursday with The Times. "They need rest between games. The way they're playing now on the road, they haven't had the kind of success they need. But they're still very capable." These days, West remains more consumed with his advisory role with the Golden State Warriors and serving his third year as executive director for the Northern Trust Open, which tees off at Riviera Country Club Feb.14-19. But he's also kept an eye on the Lakers. Even though West conceded that many of the Lakers' performances have been "spotty" and "looked like exhibition games," he said most of the blame hinged on the transition involving a new coaching staff under Mike Brown. "You have a new coach and don't have the same cast of characters around," Wet said. "I think it's a learning curve for everyone." West remained noncommittal on whether the Lakers should make a trade before the March 15 deadline. But serving as 18 seasons as the Lakers' general manager gives him a good idea how the organization thinks. "Knowing the Lakers, Mitch Kupchak and Jerry Buss and their desire to win," West said, "they'll pretty much look at anything that will help them win." But should they remain status quo, West maintains his optimism about the Lakers' championship chances. Kobe Bryant's posted a league-leading 29.3 points per game, despite nursing a torn ligament in his right wrist all season. "Anytime you have Kobe Bryant on your team, you're dangerous," West said. Andrew Bynum's faced an adjustment period with increased double teams. Pau Gasol's faced an adjustment period with falling below Bynum in the pecking order. But it's still hard for any teams to match two 7-footers combining for 33.5 points and 22.5 rebounds per game. "They have two big guys who can dominate the paint and score around the paint," West said. The only question remains whether the Lakers can improve their bench, which West said "usually what decides playoff series." That's bad news for the Lakers' reserves, which have suffered numerous problems this season. Backup point guard Steve Blake will likely play in Boston after missing the past 13 games because of a rib injury. The backup small forward spot has seen a dizzying array of combinations, including Metta World Peace (19 games as a reserve), Matt Barnes (seven) and Devin Ebanks (eight). Brown has yet to iron out a definitive role for Josh McRoberts and Troy Murphy. And the bench has been outscored 144-49. Still, West isn't ready to count out the Lakers just yet. "I would never, ever discount them," West said. "They're a very good team, regardless of what people might say." Mark Medina
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Astros' Jon Singleton receives 100-game suspension

Bills LB Lorenzo Alexander critical of NCAA rules concerning his brother

Jalen Rose: ‘Kawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio’

WWE fires Enzo Amore in wake of rape accusation

Tyronn Lue says it’s ‘crazy’ to scapegoat Kevin Love for Thunder loss

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: NFL wants Raiders to sign Kaepernick after Rooney ruling

Jay Feely: Gisele tried to get me to convince Tom Brady to retire

Raiders to make a run at Le’Veon Bell if he becomes free agent?

Law enforcement to keep close eye on Tom Brady’s jersey, other items at Super Bowl

Joe Thomas shades Big Ben while talking up Todd Haley

LaVar Ball to serve as assistant coach on sons' Euro team

The 'OK, so it's not always good to be The King' quiz

How to stop a Pats comeback: Never think you're ahead

How the Philadelphia Eagles arrived at Super Bowl LII

How the New England Patriots arrived at Super Bowl LII

Close calls: 20 MLB greats who came closest to Cooperstown but never made it

Nine reasons why the Eagles will beat the Patriots in Super Bowl LII

The surprising failure of Jason Kidd

How things have changed since last Eagles-Pats Super Bowl

The Chicago Bulls' future is on the clock

Position-by-position breakdown of Super Bowl LII teams

The 'More things change...' quiz

Greatest surprise Super Bowl stars

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Close calls: 20 MLB greats who came closest to Cooperstown but never made it

The 'OK, so it's not always good to be The King' quiz

How to stop a Pats comeback: Never think you're ahead

How the Philadelphia Eagles arrived at Super Bowl LII

Greatest surprise Super Bowl stars

Position-by-position breakdown of Super Bowl LII teams

Oldest players to ever be on Super Bowl rosters

The 'More things change...' quiz

How the New England Patriots arrived at Super Bowl LII

Players with the most Super Bowl appearances

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker