Sports: What’s Wrong With The Lakers?
by Caleb Wiley
After picking up LeBron James in the off-season, the Lakers look to be back and better after record lows in 4 consecutive years. However, things have not gone exactly as planned.
When LeBron James – who is widely regarded as the best player on the planet – chose to come to LA to play with the Lakers over teams who have better talent such as the 76ers, it became the story of the year. For someone who is as great as LeBron to go to the Lakers who through the years have had many legends walk on the court with the purple and gold, it seemed like it was fate.
This decision received many different types of reactions from all fan bases. Many people believed that he made the wrong choice and he’ll never make it to the NBA Finals again. Most Laker fans were thrilled to have him while some were not as happy. Many mixed emotions were involved when it comes to LeBron’s shocking choice to play in the city of legends.
Besides LeBron, the Lakers were unable to acquire another All-Star, but did become successful in picking up key role players such as former All-Star Rajon Rondo and champion big man Javale Mcgee. Also, picking up streaky Lance Stephenson and resigning Three-and-D SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a one year deal.
To start off the season, the Lakers played the Portland Trail Blazers and the Lakers come into the game losing 15 straight to the Blazers. It was time for LeBron to show why he is the best player in the world and end this drought along with a win to start the season. Also, lasts year’s second overall pick Lonzo Ball came of the bench to start the season because of an injury he suffered in the off-season and he was just getting back on his feet.
Despite a 26 point triple-double from LeBron, the Lakers took the loss and the streak went to 16. This was a preview of how the season would be like for the most part.
They started the season off 0-3, but after a 20 point win to the Suns the Lakeshow started showing potential of what they can do. They went 16-7 in their next 23 games and started showing a groove that would only be breif.
During this stretch, LeBron had the same usage rate as he had in Cleveland last season but in less minutes. So the fans wonder if he would be able to do this any longer without wearing out his body.
On Christmas day against the Warriors, LeBron injured his groin that has him currently sidelined. For a player as durable as he is, a whole month is a long time for him and it’s apparent that this young Lakers team surely misses him.
Since LeBron’s injury, the Lakers are 6-11 have quickly fallen towards the bottom of the playoff picture and its becoming more clear every game LeBron misses that they need help.
Lonzo ball has been a nice surprise becoming one of the best defenders in his position and having a good all-around game, but lacks aggressiveness to takeover a game. Kyle Kuzma has been their leading scorer since LeBron has been out but it seems that scoring is the only thing in his game.
Brandon Ingram has been the most disappointing out of their young core as he doesn’t seem to do anything extraordinarily well and looks like he’s just a big body out there. Therefore, if the Lakers want to compete with teams like the Warriors and the Thunder in the west, then getting an all-star to have alongside LeBron is imperative and it could be as soon as this trade deadline.
Superstar Anthony Davis has requested a trade from the Pelicans and is expected to announce that he intends to sign with the Lakers when he is a free agent in 2020. So if any other team trades for him then he’ll essentially be a rental. This can be a huge opportunity for Magic Johnson and the Lakers to trade for not only an all-star, but a top 5 player in the NBA to pair up with LeBron.
However, in doing so the Lakers are probably going to have to goodbye to 2 of their 3 young top players. A combination of Kuzma and Ingram with young three-and-D player Josh Hart and big men Ivica Zubac and a couple picks might get the job done.
If the Lakers can find a way to acquire Anthony Davis, it would make them an instant championship contender and a team who can make it hard for a star-studded Warrior team to three-peat.
Some fans; however, would like to keep their young core and see if they can grow to their potential to win now with LeBron or when he’s is gone.
Now with all that being said, Laker fans better appreciate what LeBron has brought to his team. Not only his play on the court and being the reason why your in playoff contention, but with attracting star players such as Anthony Davis and Klay Thompson.
So far if this season has proved anything, it’s that signing LeBron has been the best thing this Lakers organization has done in a long time.