Kevin Garnett doesn't believe in the Los Angeles Lakers and didn't shy around that when discussing their title chances.
Even after electing not to make a move at the NBA Trade Deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers still have some high hopes heading into the NBA All-Star break. The hope is that once the Lakers recharge their batteries to a certain extent they'll be able to flip the switch and make a move up the Western Conference standings.
Just two games before the All-Star break, the Lakers have begun to play better of late. They've won four of their last five games and nine of their last 14. Despite their improved play over the last few weeks, the Lakers still find themselves ranked 9th in the West standings and four games out of the sixth seed.
Even for the most optimistic of Lakers fans, it's hard to pencil in the team as a contender in the West. Even less so after the decision to not make a splash move at the NBA Trade Deadline. Especially with how impressive the likes of the Denver Nuggets, LA Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Oklahoma City Thunder have looked through the first half of the season.
It's something we're probably all thinking (at least the non-Lakers homers) but Kevin Garnett seems to be the only one in the media that is willing to speak it out loud. KG didn't hold back any words when discussing the idea that the Lakers are contenders in the West.
What is the Los Angeles Lakers' ceiling in the West?
The addition of Spencer Dinwiddie should help the Lakers down the stretch. But it's hard to envision that being the move that sparks the Lakers up the West standings. Realistically, the Lakers are likely going to have to win their way in the postseason via the Play-In Tournament. That means they're going to finish as the 7th or 8th seed at best.
There's a very real possibility that the ceiling for the Lakers is a playoff berth. Depending on who they match up to win in the first round, maybe they could make the second round again. I suppose they may have a real fighter's shot against the Timberwolves or Thunder in a first-round series.
I wouldn't have much confidence in the Lakers facing off against the Clippers or Nuggets. Los Angeles needs to get hot and a ton of luck to even have a shot to make some noise in the postseason. KG may be right. The Lakers are not contenders.