The Lakers: Chronicle of the Nightmare Season

Accumulated stars is not enough. Sometimes Russell Westbrook seems lost or out of time alongside his teammates, and overall, the Californians’ offensive is chaotic. Thanks to LeBron James, Anthony Davis or Carmelo Anthony, the Lakers often find a way to score, especially against weak or middle teams, but in defense, they skate and don’t pass against the big teams.

Sores accumulate and Frank Vogel cannot count on a full range to work and develop chemistry. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have to put in a lot of effort to save the Lakers and they paid the price for it at the end of the season, when dangerous things approach.

Too strong to not qualify for the playoffs, the California franchise has a lot of limitations on hoping to win four straight series against stronger, more cohesive formations, who know each other better. It’s a complete fiasco for this group that has not been ahead of many years to win a ring… »

This is what we wrote as the worst case scenario early in the season about Lakers And even in this particularly pessimistic scenario (but ultimately not so far from reality), we were far from imagining them experiencing such a bitter failure. Because, yes: “purple and gold” is now pure and simply eliminate casting errors

Some gossip won’t stop claiming that they weren’t surprised by this early exit from the track, but can we really (and objectively) believe that a team led by LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook couldn’t even make it to the top eight in this Western Conference any less exciting than Was it in the past? Or she simply could not climb into the top ten, in order to compete in this “game” that LeBron so denounced, but what would have allowed her this time to limit the damage?

The answers to these questions are the same: No.

Because for the franchise champion from a year and a half ago, not qualifying for the playoffs is a matter of professional misconduct and above all underscores the fiasco of the Westbrook-James-Davis trio. Supposedly accomplices off the field, the three All-Stars could not find the right formula on the ground, during 21 matches they played together (11 wins – 10 losses).

But, here, too, the observation is quite simple: California leaders, starting with Rob Pelinka, have been wrong all along, preferring to create the loud “Big Three” rather than focusing on the inadequacies of the workforce. 2020 / 21. If possible with the players on duty, willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the group.

LeBron James, who has certainly been able to achieve some solo goals, also has his share of responsibility behind the scenes. Especially when Russell Westbrook (instead of DeMar DeRozan?) arrives…

It’s hard, however, to blame most of the “brilliant” franchise ever for choosing rhinestones and glitter, with All-Stars accumulating: eight in total, a record in the workforce.

The problem, and what a problem: They are not, in general, accustomed to becoming “role players” during their careers. Like Carmelo Anthony, he was lured (again) by LeBron James to play the offensive clown who often found himself in the role of defensive libero. It was obviously very complicated…

In the end, when players like Malik Monk, Stanley Johnson, Austin Reeves and Winnell Gabriel gradually got a real role in the rotation, Frank Vogel’s men might have played their best basketball. Cuts are often reported, which proves that the basic plan was vacillating.

Group unable to play together

DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Buddy Hield, Alex Caruso, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope…no need to rewrite it: History has gone by and Lakers fans would forever be able to think about what their team would have been without Russell Westbrook, if It is so properly built around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

But, as AD recently lamented, they will above all be able to rethink what the ‘violet and gold’ season would have been without all their injuries.

As noted earlier, the Westbrook-James-Davis trio have only managed to line up on 21 occasions. However, this excuse should not justify everything, because some franchises like the Clippers, The Bulls, Nuggets, The Heat, or even the Warriors, Bucks or Grizzlies, not to mention the Pelicans, were also not rescued on the physical plane. And unlike AngelenosThey all managed to keep their heads above the water just enough.

Collectively and physically, LA was simply short of many teams, as their group was aging (over 30 years on average) and regenerating in depth (only three players were already in attendance in 2020/21). Between the glitches of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, it was also necessary to add those – in one form or another – from Trevor Ariza, Kendrick Noone, Carmelo Anthony, Tallinn Horton Tucker, Dwight Howard or Austin Reeves.

It is difficult, under the circumstances, to find good harmony, for this team with more than five players (39, out of a possible 79) of success (31! This lack of chemistry was mainly noticed during the second part of the campaign.

Still sixth in the Western Conference on January 8 (21 wins – 19 losses), the Lakers gradually fell back in the standings, as other teams found their cruising speed and gained momentum. Until he posted a sad record 10-29 since the same date on January 8, 2022, 28 in the league, ahead of the Pacers (10-30) and the Rockets (9-31), in a full “tank” operation.

The horizon is darkening…

Now, the big question everyone is asking is: what or what For the future of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and their partners? While Frank Vogel is almost already scored, as he’s headed toward leaving after three years on the local bench, the California three stars’ questions.

On the other hand, even if he still has a one-year contract, the name LeBron James is starting to spread on the side of the Cavaliers, whose rebuilding is slowly but surely maturing. due to him the conditionHowever, the transition of the “King” seems unrealistic, especially since he still carries sacred guarantees at the sporting level, and he is 37 years old. On the other hand, in the summer of 2023, everything indicates that he will go to the team that will recruit his son, Bruni.

On the other hand, it seems inconceivable to see Russell Westbrook continue his adventure in the City of Angels. More than smelling of holiness among fans of the franchise with 17 NBA titles, however, the 2017 MVP says he’s hoping for a second chance in this city he loves so much. But before he can see him leave, he will first have to successfully shed his… $47 million salary, which he will demand if he decides to activate his “player option” for the 2022/23 fiscal year. So, far from easy. Especially at 33…

Finally, Anthony Davis, under a guaranteed contract, must not move until 2024 and has been called to become a “franchise player” in Los Angeles following the retirement of LeBron James. At 29, he remains one of the best players in the league, on both sides of the earth, when he’s fit. The problem, and it’s a big one, is that it is rarely due to his physical fragility. All the ironies of this player, steeped in talent but with brittle bones.

About this name-only ‘Big Three’ we must find the logically disappointing Taleen Horton Tucker, longtime casualty Kendrick Noone (who risks activating ‘Player Option’), as well as the charismatic Austin Reeves and possibly Stanley Johnson (he has ‘Team Option’) ).

Then, it will be necessary to start from scratch, without any draft option and almost without the slightest financial room to maneuver. A real headache in perspective, for the “purple and gold” leaders…

shots bounce
players GM minimum shots 3 points LF About Dave Early pd baby Int CT Ceremony points
LeBron James 56 37.2 52.4 35.9 75.6 1.1 7.1 8.2 6.2 3.5 1.3 1.1 2.2 30.3
Anthony Davis 40 35.1 53.2 18.6 71.3 2.6 7.2 9.8 3.0 2.0 1.2 2.2 2.4 23.2
Russell Westbrook 78 34.3 44.4 29.8 66.7 1.4 6.0 7.4 7.1 3.8 1.0 0.3 3.0 18.5
Anthony Carmelo 69 26.0 44.1 37.5 83.0 0.9 3.3 4.2 1.0 0.9 0.7 0.8 2.4 13.3
monk owner 73 27.8 47.2 39.1 77.9 0.5 2.8 3.3 2.8 1.5 0.8 0.4 1.8 13.3
Taleen Horton Tucker 57 25.0 41.6 27.2 78.1 0.6 2.6 3.2 2.6 1.4 0.9 0.5 2.5 9.3
Isaiah Thomas 4 25.2 30.8 22.7 72.7 0.2 1.8 2.0 1.5 1.2 0.0 0.5 3.0 9.2
Seko Domboya 2 8.2 62.5 50.0 75.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 0.0 1.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 7.0
Austin Reeves 58 22.7 46.2 30.8 82.6 0.7 2.3 2.9 1.6 0.6 0.4 0.3 1.5 6.7
Avery Bradley 62 22.7 42.3 39.0 88.9 0.5 1.7 2.2 0.8 0.6 0.9 0.1 1.9 6.4
Wayne Ellington 40 18.5 40.8 39.3 80.0 0.2 1.4 1.7 0.7 0.4 0.6 0.1 1.0 6.3
Stanley Johnson 45 21.8 46.6 32.6 75.0 0.7 2.3 3.0 1.7 0.6 0.9 0.3 2.3 6.1
Dwight Howard 58 15.9 60.9 58.3 65.7 1.9 3.9 5.8 0.5 0.8 0.6 0.6 1.9 5.9
DJ Augustine 18 17.3 50.0 48.3 100.0 0.2 1.1 1.3 1.4 0.5 0.3 0.1 0.9 5.7
Wayne Gabriel 16 14.3 47.3 23.8 59.3 1.7 2.2 3.9 0.5 0.6 0.2 0.3 2.8 5.7
Dean Jordan 32 12.8 67.4 0.0 46.2 1.6 3.8 5.4 0.4 0.7 0.3 0.8 1.6 4.1
Trevor Ariza 24 19.3 33.3 27.0 55.6 0.4 3.0 3.4 1.1 0.5 0.5 0.2 0.8 4.0
Kent Basemore 38 14.0 32.8 36.7 76.5 0.3 1.4 1.8 0.9 0.6 0.7 0.2 1.8 3.5
Rajon Rondo 18 16.1 32.4 26.7 50.0 0.6 2.2 2.7 3.7 1.9 0.7 0.3 1.4 3.1
Mason Jones 2 4.4 25.0 0.0 50.0 0.5 0.5 1.0 0.0 0.5 0.5 0.0 0.5 2.5
Jimrio Jones 2 7.4 66.7 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.5 1.5 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 1.0 2.0
Darren Collison 3 12.4 28.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.3 1.3 0.7 0.3 0.3 0.0 1.7 1.3
Chandy Brown 2 10.3 14.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0
Jay Huff 4 5.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.8 1.0 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.0

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