Injuries worry the Lakers, a team that does not lift at the start of the season and now depend on the health of the veterans
We knew it since they announced their roster and now that we have passed the first 11 games, the reality of the Lakers is manifested with a stressful clarity towards the development of the season, their success and their peace depend on the health of the veterans and while one or two are out of circulation, things are going to go wrong.
This has been the case in the five games the team has played without LeBron, who is recovering from an abdominal injury with no confirmed return date, in which they have a losing record of 2-3, falling twice against a dramatically younger team, the Thunder, and against a contender from their conference who just ripped them apart from the first quarter, the Trail Blazers.
Total, The Lakers are dealing with four medium-term injuries early in the season, each one hurting in specific ways because it means one less chance in a group that is short on young talent., so necessary in today’s NBA due to the athletic demands of all rivals.
The LeBron thing is obvious on both sides of the court, but the team is almost naked with the additional casualties in the cast, given the contributions they could make to a roster that depends as much on their Big Three as the dribble of Talen Horton-Tucker (already enabled to train with contact), the points from the Kendrick nunn (it was at least two more weeks) and the triples that Trevor ariza could add (out of two months).
The best example of the fragility of the Lakers is how necessary it has been Carmelo anthony during LeBron’s absence, having to play more minutes than Frank Vogel would like for a 37-year veteran, which includes defensive wear and the only reason, together with Anthony Davis, for which they beat the Hornets on Monday in an effort of 37 minutes and 29 points, which required reaching overtime.
It’s not bad that Carmelo Anthony is important to the team, that’s why they brought him in, but pretending that he is the one to carry the offensive weight in a regular season with five months to go is a suicidal plan, especially since the magnificent 3-point effectiveness of the 52 percent that he has so far is not sustainable if he also has to run the court to defend.
Then this Russell westbrook and the million criticisms around him every time he doesn’t make 30 points, but I’d go easy on him because management knew exactly who he was hiringOn the contrary, I believe every player who averages 8.5 assistance and 8.8 rebounds per game is someone who adds value, beyond not having the chemistry that the fans would like.
LeBron will return and the Lakers are going to improve as the season progresses, perhaps to the point where we laugh at how his record looked just above .500 at this point, but what is not going to change is the lack of depth in his roster as soon as more injuries come if key additions are not made and that can be decisive to discard them sooner than expected from the title fight.
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It will be a long season for Lakers