Lakers great Jerry West, arriving for the Jerry Buss memorial service two… (Reed Saxon / Associated…)
The Lakers are still in ninth place in the Western Conference standings, but with 21 games left in the regular season are still close to climbing into the top eight.
Former Lakers star and executive Jerry West, who is currently an executive board member for the Golden State Warriors, thinks the team will land a post-season berth.
"The Lakers are playing better now, especially defensively," West told the website SportsOnEarth.com on Sunday. "I think they'll make the playoffs. I think the worst is behind them."
Injuries have been an issue for the Lakers all season but West noted that it's not easy to meld stars together as a cohesive unit.
"What people don't understand is the enormous adjustment you have to make as a player in those situations," West said. "I was a scorer. Elgin [Baylor] was a scorer and Wilt [Chamberlain], even then, liked the ball. We all had to put everything else aside."
West also said he isn't comfortable with some of what he sees on the court around the league.
"When I played, I never thought I was better than anyone. Now you have guys running down the floor, making three-point shots and then holding up three fingers," West said. "I have no idea where that comes from. It's not me. I don't like it.
"I don't like players who have to promote themselves," he continued. "A guy running around beating himself on the chest -- I don't know what that's about. If you're good enough, you are promoted. I see guys sitting on the bench laughing and they're down 20. That would never happen with the Lakers. I wouldn't put up with it."
One of the teams the Lakers are chasing happens to be the Warriors. The two teams meet twice before the end of the season.
Currently, Golden State has a four-game advantage but that could be cut in half if the Lakers sweep the remaining games. The Lakers have already won two games this season against the Warriors.
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Email Eric Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.