The NBA season is just dawning, but the first two games played by the Los Angeles Lakers showed that nothing positive happened from the end of last season to the start of the current one. Design issues remained, and the drama of the long shots was heightened.
Here are five reasons why the Los Angeles team is in trouble today.
Here we go.
They jump into a pool and hit the diving board. The Lakers couldn’t be shooting worse at the hoop. “I’m not worried or thinking about it. It’s how hard we play, how aggressive we play it, how focused we are to go out there and compete every night. And how we defend.” I get it LeBron, but they shot 85-for-19 from 3-point range (22%) in the first two games of the season. It is the worst percentage of a team in its first two games in the entire history of the NBA. What to tell you… I would worry a little more.
Russell Westbrook is in another galaxy. Time to say it: They’re trying to fit a Chrysler engine into a Ford. It doesn’t work and it doesn’t seem like it will ever work. The idea of him jumping off the bench was a good idea, but obviously no one feels comfortable trying anything else. The thing is, Westbrook is more insecure than ever. Playing like this, he not only can’t be a Lakers star: he can’t even set foot in an NBA stadium. Let’s add that he doesn’t hit a shot: yesterday he went 0-11 and he is the first player in 50 years in the entire history of the League (he was on the shot clock) to have a shot like that night. I’m not exaggerating, it happened to him before against the Grizzlies in 2011 (0-13) and then to Dick Schnittker of the Syracuse Nationals in 1957 (0-13) and to Darrall Imhoff of the Cincinatti Royals in 1965 (0-12). Anyway.
There is a lack of group chemistry and it is noticeable in the body expression of the players. The worst offensive efficiency in the NBA is embraced by mediocre defensive efficiency (14th). Darvin Ham’s lab still hasn’t found the test tubes, and the new faces are part of a level of play that’s far from ideal. The offense doesn’t flow and the game without the ball has constant ups and downs. Let’s say it all: LeBron and Anthony Davis aside, this roster lacks quality. It is not necessary to give proper names: the depth is insufficient to compete against the best. If that lack of talent is not combated with extreme sacrifice, there will be no solution for this team in the near future.
LeBron James is no longer the same. And it is logical. He is 37 years old, a game based on physical combat and a record to break in sight. James has responsibility as a leader but he can’t do magic either. The directive should have foreseen a logical fall as a result of time, which has not forgiven and will never forgive anyone. His game will always make a difference, but he no longer sits at the same table as the best players in the NBA. It’s no one’s fault, but the Lakers start from a preconception (LeBron will save us!) that is completely wrong.
The Lakers need another ball carrier NOW. Russell Westbrook? Patrick Beverly? Let’s be serious. Together yesterday they combined 1-18 in field goals (6%). It is impossible to play professional basketball with these numbers. Kendrick Nunn is fine to be an option off the bench, but the Lakers need Dennis Schroder ASAP. He is not a star, but with the ball in his hands he can generate things that do not happen today. They will have to wait at least a month to have it among the ranks.
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The Lakers are in trouble: five reasons for the team’s poor start