3. This is only going to get worse for the Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs
If you think this is bad for the Los Angeles Lakers now just wait until the playoff start. As much as the Lakers have struggled this season, the Western Conference has not been that good outside the top three and they have too much talent to miss the playoffs. They will make the playoffs barring the worst injury luck in the league.
And once the playoff roll around this will get even uglier. If you think the Lakers’ style is ugly now just wait until a team gets to play them multiple games in a row and can start exposing the team’s flaws. It will get ugly.
That was always the biggest issue with this Westbrook trade. While in theory Westbrook was supposed to make the Lakers a better regular-season team, the concern was that they would get exposed in the playoffs, as Westbrook-led teams often do. The hope was that they would figure it out over the course of 82 games for the playoffs. Thus far, it is safe to say they are not going to.
You can’t have a glaring hole and make it deep in the playoffs and the Lakers have two. They cannot space the floor in an efficient way and they cannot play good defense, in large part because of Westbrook and who the team has to play alongside him.
Teams are going to expose that in the playoffs. Heck, every playoffs teams are able to expose Rudy Gobert as a matchup advantage despite Gobert consistently being the best defensive big in the league. If teams can expose that matchup, they can expose what the Lakers have.
It won’t be pretty. If the Los Angeles Lakers end up with a bottom seed and have to play one of the top three seeds in the Western Conference then they might just get swept.