Rui Hachimura: Lakers vs. Warriors will be almost a playoff game

The Los Angeles Lakers have been stuck in the lower bracket of the Western Conference play-in tournament picture for quite some time. They’re running out of time to move up in the standards, and in fact, their time to do so may have already passed.

With a 36-31 record, they’re two games behind the eighth-place Dallas Mavericks and three games behind the seventh-place Phoenix Suns. Los Angeles is also only one game ahead of the Golden State Warriors, who are in 10th place in the West.

The Warriors also happen to be the team L.A. will face on Saturday, making it yet another critical contest for LeBron James and crew.

Forward Rui Hachimura said the contest will be “almost a playoff game.”


“It’s going to be a big game, it’s almost a playoff game,” Hachimura said after Lakers practice Friday. “We played them so many times I feel like — the preseason, the playoffs and regular-season games, all that. So, we know each other well.”

“… Who wants it more?” Hachimura said. “We got to show the emotion and try to get this one tomorrow.”

Of course, at least one Lakers player has said similar things before some other critical games recently. The team was showing some definite signs of life during the first half of February, but since the All-Star break, it has gone just 6-5.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire