It is no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers have been disappointing this season. There are always big expectations in LA, especially when the team still has LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading the way.
Last season was a disappointment because the team could not get healthy. The shortest offseason in American sports history was to blame, and quite frankly, it was a good excuse. There are no excuses this year. This Lakers team is nowhere near where we thought they would be and there are no signs that they are going to get better.
On Christmas Day the Los Angeles Lakers lost to a Brooklyn Nets team that was without Kevin Durant and a big portion of the rotation. James Harden, who is having his worst season since his OKC days, looked like an MVP again in his first game off of the COVID-19 list.
The Lakers never led by more than two points. The team rallied in the fourth quarter to make it look close, but the reality of the situation is that the purple and gold were thoroughly beaten by a depleted Nets team that also has been mildly disappointing this season.
Sure, Anthony Davis is out, but the team still had most of its rotation as well as Russell Westbrook playing. LeBron James was great, but it didn’t matter. That has been the story of the season thus far.
The “wait and see” is over. The “hope they figure it out” should be put to bed. It is official.
The Los Angeles Lakers championship hopes are officially dead.
To be fair, there is probably a big portion of the fanbase that has already accepted this reality. However, with LeBron James, it was definitely fair to continue to hold out hope. We here at Lake Show Life have made it clear that it would be a massive uphill climb, but as far as I am concerned, we can definitively say that the Lakers will not come close to winning the NBA Championship this season.
Look, the Lakers are 16-18. They are nearly 50% through the season. At some point, a team is who they are and the Lakers are a team that simply cannot play winning basketball. The depth is atrocious because Russell Westbrook’s contract put the team in a bind and this team cannot play defense.
It is not even like the Lakers have played a hard schedule, either! That is the worst part about this disappointing first half of the season. According to Basketball-Reference, the Lakers have played the fourth-easiest schedule in the NBA thus far this season!
According to Basketball-Reference’s Simple Rating System, which combines strength of schedule with point differential, the Lakers are the 25th-ranked team in the NBA. Right above the New Orleans Pelicans, right below the Sacramento Kings. Not exactly the company you want to be in.
Anyone that has been following this team closely this season knows that it stinks. Christmas Day put that stink on full display and was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Some fans may point at the 2017-18 Cavaliers, who LeBron willed to the NBA Finals, but that is not a fair comparison.
Not only is the Western Conference in 2022 far better than the Eastern Conference was back then, but LeBron was also four years younger. Plus, even that team was not this bad. Through 34 games they were 24-10… eight games better than this year’s Lakers.