Presently mired at 9th place in the Western Conference with a win-loss record of 26-28, the Los Angeles Lakers are not exactly having the stellar season many anticipated.
The addition of former MVP and perennial All-Star Russell Westbrook was supposed to strengthen the franchise’s championship hopes this season with another iteration of the Big 3 in basketball.
But a spate of injuries afflicting Lebron James and Anthony Davis has placed a wrench in those plans.
WESTBROOK. What has become increasingly palpable is the fact that the greatest triple double machine in basketball history isn’t exactly a great fit with Lebron.
To me Lebron does everything he can do on the court, only way better. Plus, Bron is taller, bigger, stronger and a better shooter.
The theory in getting him to play for the Lakers was the hope that he could—with his tremendous capacities and in tandem with Davis—carry the franchise into the playoffs, and allow Lebron play lesser minutes to conserve the King for the championship push.
But injuries to Bron and Davis have not exactly helped and with Davis having missed the most number of games, Bron has been forced to carry the load, despite Westbrook being available to play every time.
STANDINGS. As of this writing they just took a drubbing from the reigning champs, the Milwaukee Bucks, 131-116 despite the LA Big 3 all accounted for.
Bron scored 29, Davis had 22 while Westbrook contributed a paltry 10 points. That paled in comparison to Giannis’ torching them for 44 points and 14 rebounds, while five others scored in double figures.
Of course, there is still a lot of basketball left to play and there is a good chance that if their three big stars are healthy, they can still catch up with the Clippers who are in 8th place and missing both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, as well as the Timberwolves and the Nuggets who are just 29-25 and 30-24, respectively.
Still, a team’s rank by itself should not be the sole metric. We should consider how well they are playing and the Lakers have not been playing well.
Their defense is horrendous and they give up several 3-point opportunities to opposing teams simply because they don’t have the legs to go after shooters.
The younger teams wear them out in stretches and when your stamina goes, your defense goes. Trading Westbrook would be a good idea, the problem is there are currently no takers because of his onerous contract, considering his dismal level of play this season.
At the start of the season, I already opined that Westbrook will not be the crucial factor that will propel them to the Finals. It will still all boil down to a healthy Lebron and Davis. Those two are good enough to take the bacon home.
LAST ROUND. It’s on Dara Espina who celebrates her birthday this week. Cheers!
February 09, 2022
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