The Lakers find themselves in a mess with respect to their playoff chances, as the team has not been able to close out games in the last few weeks. The men in purple and gold look out of ideas during clutch situations and are a shade of what they were at the start of the campaign.
LeBron’s injury came at the wrong time for the Lakers, as they were getting some momentum under their belt, especially after that historic win against the Warriors on Christmas day. The young core couldn’t quite carry the mantle of securing a strong hold in the Western conference in the absence of LeBron James.
And when LeBron returned, the locker room suffered a blow during the AD saga, wherein the Lakers were prepared to trade most of the young core off.
LeBron James… 🤔
— Sphera Sports (@SpheraSports) March 5, 2019
Almost a month post that dreadful week in LA, the Lakers find themselves with just a 1% chance of making it to the playoffs. Now, with the playoffs almost out of the question, reports are coming in that Lakers might look to cool off, tank a few games and prepare for the draft.
That could mean LeBron sitting out games towards the end of the season, so as to protect himself for next year when Lakers have a stronger outfit. LeBron has confirmed that he will not sit out games unless he is hurt and that it would take a lot of convincing on part of Luke Walton to do so.
But then he conceded that he would need to look at things from a team’s perspective too, as the team might have different ideas keeping the bigger picture in mind.
“That would take a lot of convincing from Luke [Walton] on up,” James said as quoted by ESPN.
“Unless I’m hurt, I’m not sitting games.
“That conversation hasn’t occurred, but I’m sure it can happen soon.
“You kind of look at the rest of the games, and look at the percentages of what’s going on there in the future, and see what makes more sense for not only me but the team itself as well.
Lowlights from the Lakers loss to the Clippers.
Lakers have lost 3 in a row (5 of last 6) and are in 10th place in the West. 5 1/2 games behind Spurs for the final playoff spot. pic.twitter.com/Rebgnp1fKC
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) March 5, 2019
🎥 LeBron James talks about taking things one game at a time and fighting through adversity. pic.twitter.com/42Y40pCpCA
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 5, 2019
“For me personally, I can [only] speak for myself, continue to be a professional, and be as great as you can be every single night, no matter the circumstances. ‘Cause someone is always watching.” he added.
Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss might want LeBron to protect his body, if the playoffs are completely out of the question. With Denver Nuggets visiting LA in a couple of days, things could become a little clearer, if the Lakers lose.
Commenting on the situation at hand, Luke Walton conceded that the Lakers were not completely out of the playoff equation, but would need help from teams around them too in order to make it.
Shannon Sharpe criticised the Lakers to the core, for having a created this mess. He blamed the management and LeBron James for how this season has panned out.
*Lakers rebuild going well in 2018*
Lebron James: pic.twitter.com/6XocyN1ooF
— Jordan Moore (@jcmoore19) March 5, 2019
Bron has 6ft Beverly trying guard him in the post and the Lakers can’t swing the 🏀 to get it to him quick enough.🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️
— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) March 5, 2019
“80% goes to Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka for putting this team together. And 20% goes to LeBron James. … It’s a shame. I’m so disappointed. I’m so upset with these Lakers. That was pathetic. I shouldn’t have came into work.” Shannon Sharpe said.
LeBron has generally been a good leader, but this time round, with the Lakers, he is finding it extremely difficult to blend in.
The Lakers will now just have to get back to the drawing board, find that courage inside of them and just get on with it.
If LeBron can motivate these young guys for one historic stretch of games in the last few weeks of the regular season, it would be one of the best achievements of his career. However, at the moment, it looks highly unlikely.