LeBron James Acknowledges He's Not Mentally In Playoff-Mode Yet

The Lakers have one seeding game remaining Thursday before the playoffs begin Monday.
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The Lakers have only one seeding game remaining Thursday before the playoffs begin Monday. 

With the postseason less than six days away, LeBron James was asked on a scale of one-to-10, how ready the team is. 

"I don’t know," James said after the Lakers' 124-121 win over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. "I don’t think we’re a 10. And we shouldn’t be a 10. Because it’s a different type of preparation that goes into a playoff game."

James, 35, acknowledged that he hasn't turned the corner yet himself. 

"Me, personally, as far as mentally, I’m not in playoff-mode," he said. "Physically, I’m getting there. I feel like my legs have gotten better and better, my game has improved more and more, I’m getting more and more comfortable with the bubble. But as far as the mental side of it, nah, I’m not there. Personally, I don’t think our team is there. But we will be. It’s a different type of mindset that you have to be in, but you don’t want to jump into it before you actually get there because it takes a lot -- a lot of energy, a lot of effort."

James would know.  

He's a three-time NBA champion who went to The Finals eight-straight seasons with the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2011-2018. 

James is trying to lead the Lakers to their first championship since 2010. But the team raised some concerns with their offensive play in the NBA restart at Walt Disney World. 

Heading into Monday's game, they were last in field-goal percentage (41.1 percent) and three-point shooting (25.4 percent) over six games. Against the Nuggets, they bounced back, shooting 54.3 percent from the field and 48.3 percent from beyond the three-point line.

James said he was never worried. 

"We’re a team that believes in the law of averages," he said. "We shot the ball extremely well this whole season, and we knew it was only a matter of time before we got it going."

James, who is in his 17th season in the league, is known for shifting his game into another gear in the postseason and he said he's prepared to do that once again. 

But first, he needs to know who the Lakers are playing. 

The Lakers, who clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, are anxiously waiting to see who their first-round opponent will be as the Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs are entangled in a tight race for the eighth seed. 

"We are ready for the playoffs," James said. "If the playoffs started tomorrow, we’d be ready for it. But as far as the mental side, you can’t really lock in on your opponent until you know your opponent. So there’s another level to playoff basketball. But we’ve worked [on] our habits throughout the whole season and we’ve prepared ourselves for the playoffs. And we’ll be ready for it when it comes."