At (28-29), the Los Angeles Lakers (LAL) have proven to be underachieving thus far and show no signs of being a consistent threat to any team in the league. What needs to change for the Lakers?
Don’t lose to .500 and below level teams. At this point the Lakers can’t even go into Atlanta and pick up a win. Frustration is rising in Hollywood and free agency is looking more appealing than playoff basketball.
The young “promising” core needs to figure out their roles. Right now, Guard (G) D’Angelo Russell of the Brooklyn Nets (BKN) has made the Lakers look foolish. They left him to dry because they wanted a leader for their future young core, while right now they couldn’t rely on one of the core pieces to make waves as a leader. Although, Russell just landed himself as a first-time all-star.
Point Guard (PG) Lonzo Ball has been dealing with a injured ankle for some time now and the defense has suffered per 48 minutes in every game since. Ball is the most inconsistent player on the Lakers, while he shows great potential (at times): he also displays heavy doubt that he can be a star in this league. He can’t continue to produce games where he only scores single-digit points, and poor field goal percentages (FG%). He needs to dominate the floor as the lead general because he has all the resources he needs to actually impact games on the offensive side.
Guard/Forward (G/F) Brandon Ingram finally has hit another drive in his game, even racking up a career-high 36 points versus the Philadelphia 76ers (PHI). According to ESPN, he’s averaged 19.6 points per game (ppg) in the last 11 games and though he’s been expected to elevate to do more: that’s enough for the Lakers to not trade him. Ingram, has a fire in himself that goes off and will light up highlight reels, however he only responds when he’s being doubted. Whereas, he needs to play every game with that chip on his shoulder.
Forward (F) Kyle Kuzma is doing fine statistically but can be more of a leader. His personal is lead by playing, however being vocal goes a long way for a team that doesn’t know how to communicate on the court.
Superstar small forward (SF) LeBron James needs to relax. After he was held out for many games, it’s time to realize that he’s getting old and the expected help from his peers needs to be depended on every game. The Lakers have proven that without the talent of James, they’re no better than a lottery team and that’s extremely disappointing.
Head Coach Luke Walton seems that he’s under the shadow of James and he’s too timid to make a real suggestion without executives making a coaching move. Walton has the respect of winning in the league as a player/assistant coach, however he hasn’t been able to translate that into this current position, even with the best player in the league running his team.
The all-star break is a great break for the Lakers to really look in the mirror and ask themselves if they are serious about their jobs. To want to be in the playoffs and to be playing in the playoffs really require discipline.
The Lakers’ bench has some shining lights in (PG) Rajon Rondo, (G/F) Lance Stephenson, (G) Josh Hart and (C) JaVale McGee. Although, more times than not they aren’t put in position to succeed as they seem to be thrown into the fire. Besides Rondo’s game-winner (GW) versus the Boston Celtics (BOS) there’s not been much success from the role players.
To think that the Lakers would barely be a playoff team even in the Eastern Conference is utterly laughable as they are misguided by the hype of just being Lakers. Until proven capable, the Lakers are nothing more than a continuous disaster.
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