Somehow, the reintegration of LeBron James and Anthony Davis into the Los Angeles Lakers‘ lineup has made the team worse. They’ve lost six of their last seven and are falling in the standings. If they don’t turn things around soon, they could drop to the seventh or eighth seed. That would lead to the Lakers having to play in the play-in tournament, which is far from ideal.
One thing that could’ve helped fix a lot of the team’s issues would have been trading for Kyle Lowry at the deadline. The Lakers had a chance but didn’t want to give the Toronto Raptors Talen Horton-Tucker. With their recent slump, former player Kendrick Perkins put Los Angeles on blast for not making the deal.
The Lakers played the Raptors on Sunday and Lowry lit them up. The six-time All-Star scored 37 points and led his team to a 121-114 win. This led to Perkins again calling out the Lakers for not making the deal.
Lowry certainly would have been a short-term solution that would help the team win a title this year. However, nobody can fault the Lakers for trying to keep some good young pieces.
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LeBron Still Needs to Get Healthy
With LeBron returning to the Lakers’ lineup, a lot of their issues were supposed to be solved. Unfortunately, they’ve just become more apparent. The superstar hasn’t been in a good rhythm and obviously has some rust to work off. On Sunday against the Raptors, LeBron pulled himself from the game in the fourth quarter with an ankle issue. His biggest concern right now is ensuring that he stays healthy.
“I definitely want to get healthy. Not only for myself, but for our team,” LeBron said. “I need to make sure my ankle is where it was before the injury. I’ve got to be smart with it.”
The Lakers’ recent struggles aren’t entirely LeBron’s fault. He deserves some time to get back into the swing of things. The team around him has really struggled. They’ve got a lot to figure out and not a lot of time to do it.
Time to Panic?
To say this season hasn’t gone as planned for the Lakers would be a massive understatement. Injuries are mostly to blame for the team’s woes. Anthony Davis went down earlier in the year and LeBron just missed a bunch of time. However, the team is healthy now and playing their worst basketball.
Davis has been back for six games now and looks like a shell of his former self. He’s been struggling all season, even before he was injured. His 21.3 points-per-game average is on pace to be the third-lowest average of his career. Everybody knows LeBron will figure things out but the Lakers need to be concerned with Davis. He wasn’t playing that well when he was fully healthy and right now, he looks like an above-average power forward instead of a superstar. It’s not panic time for Los Angeles quite yet but things are headed in that direction. The Lakers need to pull off a win soon to get out of this slump.