4 Lakers who are underperforming, 3 exceeding expectations at the All-Star break

These Lakers have differed from expectations in the first half of the season.

Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, Anthony Davis
Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, Anthony Davis / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Lakers won eight of their last 11 games before the All-Star break to climb to four games over .500 and ninth in the Western Conference. They are four up on the Jazz, who are the first team out of the Play-In Tournament. The Lakers are also just 3.5 games behind the Pelicans for sixth and a guaranteed playoff spot. They must play better down the stretch, but cannot count on reinforcements after a quiet trade deadline.

The purple and gold did sign Spencer Dinwiddie via the buyout market, but the front office believes in their group. They were in the conference finals last season and made some upgrades over the summer. The Lakers can make another deep run, but everything must fall into place.

It was a disappointing first half that will likely have Los Angeles going through the Play-In Tournament again. A few players surprised, but several underperformed in the team’s first 56 games. Here is a look at who stood out.

Underperforming: Christian Wood

There was excitement when Wood signed a two-year deal with the Lakers this summer. The 6’8 big man has produced some monster stats in recent years, but it rarely resulted in wins. Wood played zero playoff minutes in his first seven NBA seasons and was coming off a disappointing tenure with the Mavericks.

The 28-year-old has not lived up to expectations in Los Angeles. He is averaging just 6.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks in 17.4 minutes per game. Wood has done little to earn more run and has a negative value over replacement player (VORP) so far this season.

Christian Wood should not be part of the Los Angeles Lakers postseason rotation. He struggles mightily on the defensive end of the floor and is not producing enough on offense to counter it. It has been a disappointing season and do not be surprised to see him looking for a new team this summer.