The Los Angeles Lakers fell in 6 games to the Phoenix Suns in a series filled with injuries for the defending champion. Entering the 2020-21 NBA season, the Lakers were already at a disadvantage after winning the championship on October 11, 2021 and starting training camp in December 2021. LeBron James is human after all and Anthony Davis’s injury history came back to bite him at the worst time possible.
The Lakers limped into the playoffs in hopes of a deep playoff run which would have been unprecedented with both superstars banged up. Davis’s left groin strain was the final injury to cancel the Lakers hopes of repeating as champions. LeBron James at this stage in his career cannot beat a team as good as the Phoenix Suns without Anthony Davis. Devin Booker and Chris Paul are great players and took advantage by essentially blowing out the Lakers in games 5 and 6.
This series loss can be a blessing for the Lakers. Lakers GM Rob Pelinka needs to rebuild this roster around James and Davis. The Lakers finished in the bottom 20(23rd) in 3pt shooting for the second season in a row. Only 2 other teams made the playoffs that finished in the bottom 20 in 3pt shooting. The NBA is a shooters league and the Lakers need to address their weaknesses this summer in free agency and the draft.
The Lakers have big decisions to make with Dennis Schroder and Andre Drummond. Both are nice players but for whatever reason didn’t fit with James and Davis. James and Davis need spacing in order to dominate.
Rob Pelinka will have to find out what will work for the future this offseason because LeBron James will be 37 next year in his 19th season. The Lakers window is open and they just need to re tool the roster.
Featured Image: Photocat001 via Flickr