Congratulations to the Los Angeles Lakers

Congratulations to the Los Angeles Lakers

Drew Thirion
8 months ago
3 min read
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts after he was called for a foul

Congratulations to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on making the 2022 playoffs… Wait, you're telling me that a team with 4 future Hall of Famers missed the playoffs? They had to have made the play-in game, right? I mean ESPN tweets about this team five times a day, they had to have locked up the 7 seed in the play-in? No… you’re telling me this team won’t be playing in the postseason at all!?

I have no idea how this could have happened, but I’ll try to break it down as best as I can. LeGM decided to sign back with the Lakers on a max-contract, 2-year 85 million dollar deal. 44.47 million next year (41.18 million this season) is a lot of money for a guy who only plays on one side of the court, but it’s LeBron freaking James, you have to make that move. 

Last season’s disappointing first-round loss to the eventual runners-up Phoenix Suns proved that this team needed to make a splash. Unfortunately to the cap-crippled Lakers, to improve their team they would need to sign players to minimum contracts or make a splash via trade. 

In typical LeBron fashion, he decided to trade away all of his young talent to acquire an aging Russell Westbrook who has been losing his athleticism. From the jump, this move never made any sense. The Lakers decided to put together three “stars'' that all need the ball in their hands and need spacing. Each of LeBron, Anthony Davis, and Westbrook simply contradicted each other’s play styles. 

It was also very funny to see the core Lakers of last season (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso, and Kyle Kuzma) all have nice comeback seasons away from the stagnant-iso ball LeBron led offense. If you think that’s just a coincidence, you might need to take your LeBron blinders off and see how he’s holding back this Lakers team. 

Many LeBron fanboys will talk about how many points per game he scored this year, but at what cost? James had his highest usage rate of any season with the Lakers while having his lowest assists per game since 2006-07. James only had 6.2 assists per game, while still managing to turn the ball over 3.5 times per game, generating an abysmal 1.77 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Lakers were one of the worst teams in the NBA at maintaining possession of the ball, bound to finish close the bottom of the NBA in turnovers per game. 

I wonder why they turn it over so much? Maybe if they didn’t have Russ or LeBron dribble the air out of the ball before kicking it to the corner with 2 seconds on the shot clock, maybe the team would turn it over less?

Well at least for LeBron, the Cavs team he completely dismantled in 2018 definitely missed the playoffs. Oh wait, no the Cavs are in position for the play-in games because they didn’t let James completely destroy their entire future in order to lose to the Warriors in 4 games in the finals. 

I feel bad for Lakers fans. They have no future, they’re stuck with Westbrick and bubble boy Davis, and LeBron desperately wants out of LA. I can’t wait for every story line next year to be LeBron returning home to the young gun Cavs to try and win one more. And honestly, do the Cavs even want him? I still believe LeBron’s the greatest player to ever touch a basketball, but his style of play doesn’t fit with this Cavs team. He doesn’t play any defense and he would take the ball out of Darius Garland’s hands far too often. Maybe this will be the first time Cleveland is in a better situation than LeBron? Only time will tell. 

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