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Is it too late in the season for moral victories?

The “I Love Basketball” crew is happy to see some progress from the Lakers but isn’t ready to believe in the team.

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Philadelphia 76ers v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

The Lakers played their fourth consecutive game of competent basketball, the latest one even coming without LeBron James, and the “I Love Basketball” crew is cautiously optimistic about a Laker team that actually seems to care for the first time in months.

Your hosts Sabreena Merchant and Raj Chipalu began by talking about the game against Philadelphia, in which the Sixers didn’t exactly inspire confidence nor endear themselves to the fans with their style of play. They expressed some of their concerns about Philadelphia as a potential title contender before getting into what impressed them about the Lakers, namely the continued strong play of Wenyen Gabriel.

Given Gabriel’s ascension into the starting lineup, Sabreena and Raj tried to figure out how the rotation minutes should be allotted going forward, and who will lose time once James and potentially Anthony Davis return to the lineup. They also discussed what to do about the starting two-guard position and if Austin Reaves is the best man for the job.

From there, they tried to guess who the Lakers will or should waive at the end of the season to give Gabriel a roster spot for the play-in game, and potentially for next year. This leads to a conversation about which veteran Laker on a minimum contract is most likely to stick around in the NBA next season if they’re not on the Lakers.

Finally, Sabreena allowed Raj to be optimistic and dream of a world where the Lakers are successful in the play-in and advance to the postseason, but only to a point.

You can listen to the full episode below, and to make sure you never miss a show, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.

And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.