The Los Angeles Lakers have had their share of problems, they came in this year as defending champions, and it was widely expected they would steamroll again, why wouldn’t they? They had great scoring, chemistry, and had everyone scared, but from mid February to early May, the Lakers became nothing more than average – as they struggled, and they limped into the playoffs as the 7th seed. Who in their right mind saw that coming? The truth of the matter is, the Lakers have had some problems – even though with a 2-1 series lead in the playoffs as of this article – Los Angeles has not been quite as dominant as some may have thought. There are several things to be considered as parts of the blame.
The way the game is today, teams generally win on a consistent basis with good deep shooting and being able to defend the three. We all question both of these things – and I still think it should be a concern for the team, and their fanbase. The Lakers had struggled scoring the ball ending at just 22nd in the NBA, they have missed scoring 110+ or more points in about 55% of their games this year. That is very hard to believe in them, and when scoring 100 or less they had lost 71% of the time. A huge reason for their lack of scoring, is the poor play behind the arc, hitting 35% from deep, and knocking down only around 11 threes /game. Which in this day and age is not very good, as they ended up at just 25th in the NBA for 3pt FGM. The lack of heavy 3p shooting is tough to overcome today.
Another huge part of why Los Angeles struggled this season is because of the lack of ball handling. They have been very sloppy – they have shown a tendency to turn the rock over when things get tight, they have had their share of problems keeping possession. So not only do they struggle with making it from deep – but they struggle trying to keep their team in control. They have been turning the ball over 15 times /game – which is even worse for a team that struggles to score the ball like they do, they need to be as efficient as possible on offense. But they just have not been as efficient as one would have expected.
But if we are really looking for the culprit for their struggles – it had to have been their devastating injury problems.
4x MVP, LeBron James with his high ankle sprain, had missed 27 games this year, and coming back from that kind of injury is always tricky, especially when you are 36 years old. Although he has been solid this postseason with 21ppg and 6rpg – I still just cant help to question if a hard bump or twist is putting him out again. He has not been the dominant star we usually know him as. And let’s be brutally honest – we all know father time is – and always will be undefeated. Anthony Davis with his calf injury missed another 36 games, another 20+ ppg scorer. Los Angeles was left without their 2 biggest stars missing 63 games between them, that’s tough to fight through, but here we are. Davis has been the star so far, after 3 games in the playoffs, putting up 27 /game but his shooting has been terrible hitting just 43% from the field so far. They look to be getting back into form – but knowing the injury problems and how incredibly dependent this team is on their stars, can anyone feel great with that? Dennis Schroder has been a nice bonus for them, with 19ppg and 55% shooting – both better numbers from the season – but can LA feel like they are a dangerous force with Schroder?
Los Angeles has had some great runs and so have the cappers at 10StarPicks.com . Winning with poor 3pt shooting, a propensity to turn the ball over, and injury concerns has been very hard to find. Is it so hard to question if they can make it far? If they can’t hit threes, keep possessions and stay upright on the court, of course they can, and are a real danger to the NBA, but does anyone feel without question that LeBron is 100% this postseason?