The Lakers are still fighting to make the NBA playoffs, but LeBron James thinks the team should be aiming higher than just that.
After making his return from injury on Sunday during L.A.'s loss to the Bulls, James indicated that he's hopeful the Lakers can finish the season among the top six teams in the Western Conference.
Following Sunday's loss, the Lakers sit in the ninth seed in the West, though only 1.5 games separate them and the Warriors for sixth place in the conference. With just seven games left on the docket, James remains confident the Lakers can make a late push and avoid the play-in tournament.
"To hell with the play-in. We can actually be a top-six seed," said James via Michael Corvo of ClutchPoints.
James had missed the Lakers' previous 13 games while sidelined with a foot injury he sustained in late February during a clash against the Mavericks. Los Angeles went 8–5 in his absence, keeping themselves in the playoff hunt in the West.
He scored 19 points across 30 minutes off the bench against the Bulls, in what was just the second reserve appearance of his NBA career.
The Lakers face the Bulls again in their next game Wednesday, the start of a four-game road trip which also includes matchups against the Rockets, Timberwolves, and Jazz.