With a current record of 15-21, the expectations for the Lakers have been very little this season. The philosophy of Coach Darvin Ham seems to be a broken record after every post game. Not intended to discredit Ham, I believe he’s done a great job for what he has been given but you need a balanced team effort night in and night out. Lakers defense has been good but down the stretch they can’t make shots. Or on the other hand, offense is flowing, but the defense is too poor to compete. For fans, you always set your own “expectations” and for this team? The Lakers on paper looked like they could be the better half of the play-in teams section of contention for the Western conference.
As of late, the Lakers just can’t seem to compete with any team on a nightly basis. I thought despite the casualties they took on their six game road trip (prior to returning home against Boston), they did well maintaining a .500 record, considering they missed both Bron and AD. However the direction started to pivot a little south when Bron, AD, and Russ missed a game due to injury. In my opinion, Russ doesn’t normally miss time, usually only surrounded by trade rumors he might? So my first guess was to think of a possible trade. The following night seemed just as odd. Russ missed a game, but Bron returned. I thought the Lakers were shopping Russ again? But at the cost of losing another game? It didn’t sit right with me. The logical explanation had to be that the Lakers were actually hurt and the journey for playoff hopes at any point were looking out of reach. The Lakers took a tough loss to the Kings on the 21st of December and it made me realize that Darvin Ham still doesn’t have his own team. Outside of winning championships, how else can you secure your job as a future coach in this league? The development of talent needs to start now. Something Magic Johnson was able to cultivate in such a short time, with the likes of Ivica Zubac, Jordan Clarkson, and Larry Nance all turned out to be great trade pieces in the future. Currently, Lonnie Walker (24), Dennis Schröder (29), and Thomas Bryant (25) could all make for reliable pieces to have in a returning season. Christie, and Reaves are in-house pieces. Both showing bright spots, but are still so far away from what their potential could be. In the offseason you have to figure out how you can get rid of weight and plan out a future that at least somewhat has a direction. (Starting all over is still an option albeit extreme). The offseason will be the biggest test and now is just too far ahead to entertain what the team can acquire, but the approach has to be addressed. As far as the rest of the season this new year? The expectations for the Lakers should remain low. For the last few seasons we have seen the same patterns and nothing has changed for the Lakers and health. Some nights will be better than others, but this team's nights of competing for a championship or playoff contention, is thinning out.
Written by: Tyrell Winston (@wstsdty)
Edited by: Josh Bhagratie (@jshyb_)