Jerry West says Lakers 'have a chance against anyone'

Count Jerry West among those who think the Los Angeles Lakers are finally rounding into form.

"I definitely wouldn't want to play them, I know that," West said on a conference call Thursday, when asked about the Lakers' surge since the All-Star break. "I think they'd have a chance against anyone [in the playoffs]."

West, a Lakers legend as a player and general manager, is now an executive with the Golden State Warriors, who are in sixth place in the Western Conference.

"I think if the Lakers would have their preference, they probably wouldn't want to play Denver," he said. "I don't think anyone would want to play them. Denver has proven they can win on the road and they just don't lose at home.

"Memphis, they're like a a bunch of pack dogs down there. Defensively they are really good. And to me they've got the most underrated player in the league in Marc Gasol. That guy is really a good player.

"But I think they [the Lakers] would have a chance against anybody. If you watch Oklahoma City, to me, they don't look like they're the same team. And I think that they're terrific, but they lose a great player in James Harden, and that's going to happen to a lot of teams today, and can they make up for the loss of him? I'm not sure."