Jared Dudley accuses teams around the league to be tanking to duck LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers during this postseason.
Well, the Lakers gave it their all, but it was just a tad bit too late. Despite LeBron James’s dismay, he will indeed have to participate in the play-in tournament, and he won’t be allowed to rest easy either.
The team will face off against the blazing hot Golden State Warriors, who went 8-2 in the final 10 games of the season. The only silver lining here is, if they win this matchup, they directly head to the playoffs as the 7th seed.
Regardless, Lakers star Jared Dudley understandably doesn’t like the franchise’s current predicament. And, in a recent interview, he refused to bite his tongue on the matter either.
Jared Dudley says teams are “managing” their schedules in order to avoid a matchup against LA Lakers
Jared Dudley has always said what he thinks. Even his beef with Ben Simmons a few years ago, was a product of just this trait of his. Even at the age of 35, he will absolutely say what is on his mind. And in an interview, he did it yet again.
NBA reporter, Dave McMenamin recently revealed this on Twitter.
Jared Dudley, without naming names, said teams were “managing” their schedules down the stretch to avoid the Lakers. He thinks it’s a bad strategy: says the Lakers will be most susceptible to an upset in the first round and will only get stronger from there.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 17, 2021
Dudley’s claims do make a bit of sense to be fair. The Clippers almost intentionally seemed to lose their games against the Thunder and Rockets, both teams that are in rebuild mode.
Additionally, even the Nuggets seemed to get in on the action. While their loss to the Blazers was a bit more believable, the team did rest most of its starters down the stretch.
If the Nuggets had won against the Blazers, the Lakers’ recent victory against the Pelicans would have taken them to the 6th seed. And with the Nuggets at 3rd, that would’ve meant a first-round matchup against the reigning champions for the franchise.
Overall, it’s going to be difficult for the LakeShow to defend their title this season to say the least. Not only is the league stronger than last season, but LeBron James is also still recovering from his injury.
Only time will tell how the postseason turns out for them. But until then, it will be very difficult to take out eyes off them.