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Where the Lakers Sit at the Halfway Point

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The Lakers ended the All-Star break with a win in overtime against the Denver Nuggets. This makes them the number one seed 5 games above the second team.
How well did this first half of the season go?

In terms of winning there isn’t much to reproach to the team. They are the 1st seed in the Western Conference and have the second-best record in the NBA. The only thing where the team could improve is their record against the top teams in the NBA, where they have struggled. That includes losses against the Clippers, Rockets, Bucks, Celtics, etc. But right now that doesn’t matter as they have a 5 game edge over the next team in the conference. The Lakers are where they need to be, as LeBron James said.

If we go with the eye test, we can see some aspects where the Lakers can improve. When LeBron goes to the bench, the team falls off primarily because of the lack of a playmaker that can make a difference on the second unit. Rajon Rondo is the player that has those responsibilities but has struggled throughout the seasons. In addition to that, the team has still failed to establish a consistent third scorer, being this a constant story throughout the season. Can Kyle Kuzma step up to fill this role in the second half?

After talking about what the eye sees, it’s time to talk about straight facts and statistics, all provided by ESPN. The Lakers rank seventh in the league in points and rebounds, third in assists per game, first in field goal percentage and blocks. Those are outstanding statistics that portray the dominance the Lakers have shown on the court this half a season. Some categories where the team can improve are turnovers and free throw percentage where they are among the worst of the league.

Overall, the Lakers’ first half has been pretty solid, and the standings portray it.

The team has some margin of error now that can be used as some rest for both Anthony Davis and LeBron James.

Can the Lakers keep this winning pace going?
How will they approach the end of the season with the playoffs coming?

Featured Image: Reuters
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