The Los Angeles Lakers are officially out of the playoffs and their horrendous season is over. Coming into the season, the Purple & Gold were the favorites to win the title after their marquee offseason acquisitions.
The Lakers started off the season quite slow, but the fans weren’t worried about it as they thought it was just the team finding its footing and there was hope that it would slowly but surely get better. But as the season went on, it just kept getting worse and worse and now the Lakers are missing the playoffs.
Exactly what went wrong for the Lakers? Let’s take a look at some of the integral factors to one of the most disappointing seasons this franchise has known.
Just like the previous season, the team from Southern California took a huge hit in terms of health. Anthony Davis couldn’t stay healthy, LeBron James missed a good number of games, plus the healthy & safety protocols did not help as players were in and out of the lineup. With the available players changing almost every game, the Lakers just could not find that chemistry and consistency as a team needed to make a push forward.
Amidst all the health issues and changing lineups, the team just could not be consistent. On days they played beautiful, energized basketball capable of being the best team in the league whom no one could beat. Then there were times they just had loss after loss, having no will to win whatsoever and even the lottery teams were giving them trouble.
The team was a bad fit. Even with all the all-stars and future hall of fame players on the team, it just did not work out as they did not have any chemistry together. It was difficult to watch as players could not utilize their strengths to their full potential and their weaknesses were just exposed even more. They did not look like a team out there and there was not much they could do. It’s hard to play as a team when you’re not able to feel like yourself.
The Lakers team absolutely struggled on defense the whole season. Even when they tried using a small lineup that is supposed to be better defensively being able to switch, it didn’t work out as individually they struggled staying in front of their man and as a team they just couldn’t help each other out to stop the opposition. The team lacked those defensive players who can just lockdown the opponents and inspire the others to lock in on defense as well.
Lineup Construction and Flexibility
From the get-go, the lineup did not have much flexibility and options. The Lakers had to play small because they had no option. They had several players who practically played the same position and the same way. They did not have a good big man rotation. They lacked those specialists who could do specific things and affect the game in different ways. When you have a championship winning team, you should be able to adapt to the situation and when things aren’t going as planned, you need to be able to shake things up a bit and put out a lineup that would be different. Compared to the past couple of years and especially the championship team of 2020, this is one of the things the Lakers certainly lacked.
The season is over. The Lakers are officially in the offseason. They have a lot to figure out and they have a lot to think about after this underperforming season. Hopefully they learn and make a significant stride forward next year.
Featured Image: Adam Pantozzi/nba.com