Los Angeles Lakers: 3 Big questions heading into the All-Star break

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Lakers have the best record in the Western Conference. Still, heading into the All-Star break, we have questions about the rotation.

The Lakers are prohibitive favorites to reach the Western Conference Finals.

The Purple and Gold aren’t flawless, though. Most experts believe the Clippers and the Bucks are the two organizations most likely to meet in the finals. They could be right.

Los Angeles as a team is excellent, but they’ve amassed the most victories in the West behind LeBron James’s brilliance. According to ESPN, he’s been worth 13.16 wins thus far, nearly four more wins than his closest competitor, James Harden. The Lakers dominate when LeBron is on the court, and they struggle when he rests.

The Purple and Gold are good enough to beat most squads despite their travails when LeBron’s on the bench. The Bucks and Clippers aren’t most squads. They each feature their own MVP-caliber player, a dynamic duo, and an elite defense.

It’s going to be a massive challenge to beat the Clippers and the Bucks in the playoffs. Many folks believe the Lakers need to upgrade through the buyout market to overcome Milwaukee and LA’s other team. I’m not one of them. The most popular buyout candidates don’t offer much hope for the Purple and Gold.

Dion Waters has an attitude problem coupled with a severe marijuana addiction and the inability to play solid defense. He can’t help the Lakers.

J.R. Smith is worse than every player on the Lakers roster. Rob Pelinka would be crazy to cut someone like Quinn Cook or Troy Daniels for him.

Other names have surfaced. Players like Evan Turner, Jeff Green, and even Lance Stephenson have circulated through the Lakers rumor mill. They aren’t an upgrade.

Instead, Frank Vogel might have to make a few rotation changes to help maximize the Lakers chances in the playoffs.

Up next, we’ll look at three questions we have about the Lakers rotation.