A look back at the sixth week of the Lakers 2015-16 season using GIFs
The Los Angeles Lakers are now 3-17 on the 2015-16 season. If it wasn’t clear before the start of the year, this is a team that is in full rebuild mode right now and that’s only been intensified by Kobe Bryant announcing his retirement at the end of this season.
While some fans are still in full nostalgia mode reminiscing about the unforgettable and legendary career of Kobe, what’s happening on the court is still a rollercoaster ride in terms of quality. One night, you see all of the potential in the world from the young trio of D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson; the next night, Kobe is taking 30 shots and making 20-something percent of those attempts while the Lakers get trounced.
It’s impossible to forget this season that this team was never going to be good. The 2015-16 Los Angeles Lakers were always destined for a lottery pick. The question was whether they were going to be bad enough to keep their top-three protected first-round pick in the 2016 draft. Though we are only 20 games into the season, it’s pretty clear that is a 100 percent viable possibility.
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The goal for the rest of this season should be to get the future of the franchise set in a positive direction, setting an example and leaving a lasting impression on players like Russell, Randle, and Clarkson about how to perform like a professional consistently. That includes playing with adequate effort every night that you take the floor. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been happening.
Some nights are rough for the Lakers and some of those nights unquestionably came throughout this past week. However, there were also some positive moments. Like I said; this is a rollercoaster of a season for the purple and gold.
This is a look back on the sixth week of the 2015-16 Lakers season, of course using GIFs to grade each moment or storyline.
They lost to the Sixers
Everyone was fully aware coming into the matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers at the start of last week that it was going to be a battle of incompetence and lottery-bound teams, so much so that I even referred to it as “The Ben Simmons Bowl.” What’s worse, though, is that the Lakers actually lost to the team that hadn’t won a game coming into the matchup.
There were obviously a lot of factors in the matchup, such as it being Bryant’s last game of his career in front of his hometown. But his performance in that moment was hugely detrimental to his team and, more or less, a microcosm of the problems that he’s been causing for the Lakers all season. This just happened to be a particularly troubling instance as they lost to the then 0-18 Sixers.
Kobe vs Washington
Standing in stark contrast to Kobe’s performance against Philly was his showing the very next night in D.C. as the Lakers took on the Wizards. While Bryant wasn’t the picture of efficiency or low-volume shooting, the 37-year-old played arguably his best game of the year as he finished the night with 31 points.
Moreover, the clutch Kobe Bryant that Lakers fans have come to know and love made an appearance late in the game as he knocked down two fourth-quarter jumpers to help the Lakers pick the win. We all knew that this was going to happen at some point because, frankly, Kobe is too great to be as bad as he’s been on a consistent basis for the entire season.
This doesn’t take long to talk about because there’s only so much to be said about something that doesn’t exist. The Lakers were next-to-last in the league this past week in terms of assists per game, including registering only three in the first half against the Pistons on Sunday. If there’s any bigger problem with the Lakers, it has yet to become as obvious as their consistent lack of ball-movement.
Clarkson, Randle, Russell
Despite all of the things wrong with the Lakers, how a fan would find hope isn’t hard to see. There are times every week and in virtually every game when Russell, Clarkson, and/or Randle make something happen that drops the jaws of everyone watching. It’s not consistent, but the makings of something special are clearly in place in Los Angeles.
Even with 17 losses, only three victories, and an overload of poor showings and bad moments, there is still hope for this Lakers team in the form of this trio. Whenever times get bad, just search out those moments where they are doing something impressive and bask in them.
On multiple occasions this season, the Lakers’ effort has been simply unacceptable, as if they had dozens of things on their mind that didn’t involve playing professional basketball. That’s obviously hugely problematic when they are, in fact, supposed to be playing professional basketball.
Of all the things that can’t happen this season, the most important is setting an example for the young players, which largely consists of going out onto the court with a competitive mindset every single night. When they don’t do that, it’s unbelievably frustrating to watch and detrimental to the Lakers in more than just a nightly way.
Four games in the last seven days, a fifth in eight days coming on Monday evening, and all of this is happening on the road for the Lakers. It’s safe to say that they are all looking just a little bit sluggish right now, though that’s at least somewhat understandable. Jumpers getting left short for everyone!
This may seem a tad out of nowhere, but Ben Simmons is setting the world on fire at LSU right now and any team with a remote shot at the No. 1 overall pick in 2016 has their eye on him in hopes that he will one day be their new prized player. If you’re a Lakers fan and haven’t seen him yet, I would highly reccommend doing so.
What is there to say, really? This team is one of the worst Lakers teams in history, Kobe isn’t getting any better after the announcement of his retirement, and the focus on the young talent is obviously going to lend itself to sloppy performances and learning experiences. Moreover, this season is a well disguised effort in tanking to try and hold onto a draft pick. That being said, there are still good things to be found with this team, it just happens to take a little bit of perseverance to find them.