The Los Angeles Lakers have been struggling throughout this season, even after making big moves last summer. The team is currently in 9th place with a 26-30 record. A lot of people attribute their struggles to Russell Westbrook who is having one of the worst seasons in his career. The 9-time All-star is averaging 18.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 7.6 assists this season along with 4.1 turnovers per game.
While it is true that the triple-double king has struggled the blame goes to the entire organization. The front office did a bad job choosing to trade for him despite knowing about the lack of shooting on the team. They also chose to let go of Alex Caruso who was a big part of their championship run to avoid increasing the luxury tax. The coaching staff has also not tried to figure out the best way to integrate Westbrook into the offence and put their players in a position to win games. The other players have also not been very good, especially Anthony Davis who has been inconsistent throughout the season.
The only bright spot for the Lakers is that LeBron James in his 19th season is playing at an MVP level. The 4 time Champion is averaging 29.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 6.5 assists this season. Despite that, the King can no longer carry teams the way he used to and the rest of his teammates aren’t even trying to help him carry the load. While Anthony Davis has had a few good games and is reliable defensively, he is not the Anthony Davis that the Lakers won the championship with. Westbrook seems lost, the role players aren’t contributing most games and the coaching staff seems to have no answers.
It is going to be incredible if the Lakers make the playoffs this season. The way things are going, they will find themselves in the play-in game and will have to win 2 play-in games to make the playoffs. I still give them a chance though. Despite the chaos and confusion in the organization, there is one man I believe in. That is LeBron James. The King has shown us time and time again that when the situation demands it he will rise to the occasion. While it seems crazy to have such high expectations from a man playing in his 19th season, LeBron’s elite level of play throughout the season is a ray of hope that Lakers fans can hang onto.