Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 2/7/13

Jerry West still believes. The former Laker and Lakers general manager -- part of a few mega teams himself that disappointed by not winning a championship before finally breaking through in the early 1970s -- believes the Lakers can pull themselves together and make a run for the Playoffs. a feat that is getting more and more difficult by the day as the games run out and the chemistry seems to fizzle. Before it was announced that Pau Gasol would miss at least six weeks with a torn plantar fascia, West said he believed the Lakers would be able to make up the 4.5 games they need to catch the eighth seed in the West. That would mean quite an incredible finish for a team that lacks a little bit of depth and is fighting off injuries to Dwight Howard and now Pau Gasol. Still, West is right in one respect: When the Lakers are good, they are very good. Sometimes (the Lakers) have been good, and sometimes they just don't seem to have it. Their biggest issue has been defensively. But I think they're playing better defensively now, and Kobe's play has been extraordinary, the way he's not shooting as much and getting other people involved. Nobody is going to want to play them in the first round. With the veterans the Lakers have, I don't think it's going to make a big difference to them if they creep in as the 6, 7 or 8 [seed]. In the playoffs, they're going to be dangerous. West is now a consultant with the Warriors and his team is sitting pretty inside the top eight. He certainly would feel a bit uneasy if the Warriors ended up playing the Lakers in the first round and the Lakers had figured things out enough to topple them and end their surprising season. Still, the question has to be asked: Are the Lakers getting better? Los Angeles has now won six of its last seven games. The Lakers have given up less than 100 points per 100 possessions in just three of those games. Indeed, even with Dwight Howard missing many of those games, Los Angeles has shown incredible improvement on the defensive end. The Lakers are posting a defensive rating of 103.1 this season, 17th in the league. In this seven-game stretch, the Lakers average defensive rating is 97.6. If the Lakers continue to play stronger defense, the team has the offensive weapons to remain dangerous. West is definitely someone to listen to. He constructed the Kobe Bryant/Shaquille O'Neal tandem in the summer of 1996, really revolutionizing how to clear cap room to make big free agent signings. He is widely regarded as one of the top talent evaluators in the league and one of its best all-time general managers. If anyone knows what to do with a team, it certainly would seem that West would know. So maybe we should listen to The Logo. Los Angeles may not be out yet. [follow]

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Catholic priest in Philly wears underdog mask while leading mass

Trae Young makes defender fall down with sick move, drains jumper

Josh Donaldson still hoping for long-term offer from Blue Jays

Titans have hired Mike Vrabel as head coach

Johnny Manziel sells out entire stock of 'Comeback$ZN' merchandise in under 48 hours

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

OSU coach Mike Boynton has high praise for Trae Young

NFL says overseas troops can watch playoff games despite shutdown

Tyler Hilinski's younger brother shares emotional message on Twitter

Erik Karlsson trade rumors are starting to heat up again

Seahawks reportedly interested in Jim Zorn reunion

Terence Newman does not rule out return even if Vikings win title

Sports & Politics Intersect: Nassar's victims put USA Gymnastics, MSU on trial

The 'One of these things is not like the other' quiz

Top 25 times franchise players have changed scenes in MLB

The best college hoops games to watch down the stretch

NHL Weekender: Kings, Leafs heading in the wrong direction

NFL Championship Weekend Predictions: History will be made in the NFC

Devin Booker is expanding his game beyond getting buckets

Greatest NFL Conference Championship moments ever

Top 10 X-factors for Conference Championship Games

Case Keenum deserves better than the also-ran description

Best performances in the history of NFL Conference Championship games

15 underrated NBA players having tremendous seasons

Lakers 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.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Nassar's victims put USA Gymnastics, MSU on trial

Top 25 times franchise players have changed scenes in MLB

The 'One of these things is not like the other' quiz

The best college hoops games to watch down the stretch

NHL Weekender: Kings, Leafs heading in the wrong direction

The 'Baby I'm a (All-)Star' quiz

Devin Booker is expanding his game beyond getting buckets

Ranking baseball's GMs entering the 2018 season

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: The Saints miss an important long-distance call

Johnny Gaudreau, Flames hope layoff won't cool them down

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