The Los Angeles Lakers started the 2021-22 season as the odds on favorite to represent the Western Conference in the 2022 NBA Finals. After the team’s loss to a decimated Portland Trail Blazers tonight the Lakers are 26-30 and in 9th place in the Conference. The team is teetering and their fans are telling ugly truths about the team on Twitter.
While I’m not sure that tonight’s loss was a message from LeBron James and Anthony Davis, I do agree on the body language. The team looked disinterested and disengaged. It was honestly shocking. One theory is that the Lakers assumed the Blazers would cower in fear when they showed up with their purple and gold jerseys and 17 championships. Instead, the team that barely knows each other took the game to the Lakers. They punched the Lakeshow in the proverbial mouth and the Lakers seemed to recoil.
Honestly, it was embarrassing.
I hate to think this is possible, but the players lack of effort tonight was hard to miss. The worst thing that can happen to a coach at any level is he loses his voice. When a team stops listening to the coach, when they stop respecting him, it is time to move on from that coach. It is a tough position to be in as a General Manager because you want to “fix” it. You want your team to be mature enough to not care about any grievances they have with the coach. But, sometimes it just happens. For these Lakers, it looks like they have tuned out their coach and there is no recovery from that.
More than a Loss
The Lakers have lost some games to some bad teams this season. But, those games came earlier in the season and every team seems to play their best against the Lakers. In short, those earlier bad losses were tough, but understandable, forgivable. But this Blazers team was without Damian Lillard and had just traded about Norman Powell, Robert Covington and C.J. McCollum. They were right in the start of an overhaul. The Blazers jerseys were worn by C.J. Elleby (21), Trendon Watford (21), Greg Brown III (20) and Keljin Blevins (26, second year player). James Worthy admitted these are professional basketball players but likened them to a group of players you might see at the Y during a pick-up game. The Lakers lost to them, to that team.
This loss hits different.
Russell Westbrook has taken a lot of the blame for the Lakers poor record. Tonight, he did not play. So, try as some might, they cannot pin this loss on Brodie. Interestingly, the Lakers, without Westbrook, still committed 21 turnovers! Something Lakers fans were quick to point to when Westbrook had to many. That is not to say that Russell Westbrook on this team is just not right – for whatever reason. The key is that Westbrook is not the only problem. The Lakers issues run deep.
The Lakers are no doubt trying to find someone to trade with. Unfortunately, even if they find some way to make a trade there is no one coming to the Lakers who will make a difference. At this point, the Lakers are the pig and anyone coming in via trade or buyou is the lipstick. I sincerely hope you all get that analogy! The Lakers have to find a way to fix their existing issues before bringing someone else into what is, right now, a mess.
As for wasting LeBron’s last years… ya, that’s rough! It is all that much tougher when you see what LeBron is doing this season. He has been spectacular! As incredible as he has been to watch, knowing that he is this good at this age but the team around him is so disjointed just somehow makes it all worse.
This is not the Lakers season anyone was expecting. They have prime Anthony Davis and an age-defying MVP season from LeBron James. They found a diamond in the rough in Austin Reaves and somehow got an incredible player in Malik Monk for the veterans minimum. Lakers fans were hoping for more, but basketball fans were expecting more. The Lakers are leaving both sets of fans disappointed.
The Last Word
The last word goes to Lakers great Magic Johnson and thePeachbasket great Evan Moore. Magic is speechless and Evan nails the mood of Lakers faithful tonight.
The only positive is knowing that things cannot get any worse. Oh wait, the Lakers next two games are against the Golden State Warriors then the Utah Jazz. Well, things can’t get much worse.
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