After a challenging beginning to their season, the Los Angeles Lakers successfully fought their way back to the postseason for the first time since 2021. This remarkable comeback was highlighted by their determined push to the Western Conference Finals in 2023, where they faced stiff competition and emerged victorious. The Lakers, who had faced the possibility of losing a lottery pick to New Orleans due to their initial struggles, proved their resilience and dedication on the court.
During their journey to the Western Conference Finals, the Lakers showcased their prowess by defeating three formidable teams. Among these opponents was a team that still harbored a lingering grudge from a previous series loss to the Purple and Gold. The Lakers’ ability to overcome such challenges demonstrated their determination to secure their spot in the postseason and contend for the championship title.
One key player who emerged as a crucial asset for the Lakers was Austin Reaves. Reaves’ impact was felt late in the year as he played a pivotal role in the Lakers’ victory over the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers managed to secure victory in six games, a feat that left a strong impression on Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr. Kerr’s lingering sentiments about the outcome emphasized the intensity of the Lakers’ performance and their ability to overcome tough opponents.
The Warriors also deserve credit for their efforts to enhance their roster’s strength. They extended power forward Draymond Green’s contract for four seasons and acquired veteran point guard Chris Paul following his departure from Phoenix. Despite the Warriors’ roster improvements, the Lakers were able to outshine them and advance even further in the playoffs. The Lakers’ determination to build upon their successful season by retaining core talents, including Reaves, reflects their commitment to pursuing a championship.
The Golden State Warriors coach [Steve Kerr, now Austin Reaves’ head coach with Team USA] saw his team’s season end in the second round to the Los Angeles Lakers. Now, just months later, he finds himself coaching Austin Reaves, a member of those Lakers. The guard said that he has enjoyed having Kerr as a coach but Kerr has been playfully upfront about his dissatisfaction with last season’s end. “Steve, basically, the first conversation we had was him being like, ‘You know, I’m still not really over what you and y’all did to us this postseason,” Reaves said, per Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times. “‘But much rather be coaching you than coaching against you.'”
As the Los Angeles Lakers continue their journey through the playoffs, their remarkable comeback story serves as an inspiration to fans and basketball enthusiasts alike. With their eyes set on the ultimate prize, the Lakers are determined to push forward and seize the championship title, solidifying their place as one of the league’s premier teams.