Los Angeles Lakers were looking to make a comeback run to make the playoffs after the all-star break. That did not go according to plan. At all.
The Lakers are 3-7 over the last 10 games and effectively their play-off hopes have turned to dust. They sit 4.5 games behind the San Antonio Spurs and the 8th place and 3 games behind a .500 record.
For an organization that wanted to target a 4-5th place spot for the playoffs in the West, it has been a season as shambolic as the one Dwightmare season they endured. At least in that season they finished 8th, before being wiped out in the 1st round of the playoffs without Kobe Bryant, who had stood on a broken leg and hit two free throws.
That brings us to today’s game. The Lakers who have all season dropped games to the likes of Knicks, Hawks, Grizzlies to name a few, hit a new low on Saturday with a loss to the last placed Phoenix Suns.
The @Lakers lost to the damn @Suns tonight. You’ve got to be kidding me. And now….sources tell me @KingJames got on the first bus out of the arena — which might be the first time he’s ever done that in his career. What a disaster. But I’m holding on. Season ends w/ loss Monday.
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) March 3, 2019
— NBA (@NBA) March 3, 2019
This was as much of a guaranteed win as you are going to get in this league. The Suns are in the middle of another ‘tankathon’. They have no motivation to win now. They have no veterans on the team.
Basically a walk in victory for a club hosting the worlds best player and a dream of the playoffs. But the Lakers, true to form lost to the Suns in a performance that pretty much sums up their season quite perfectly.
LeBron got a near triple double, but missed two clutch free throws. 2 clutch free throws to keep his team in the game and in the hunt for the playoffs.
Reminds me of the Kobe free throws. But alas, James and his shoddy shooting from the charity stripe continued and he missed both free throws to all but seal the loss.
It happened AGAIN: LeBron James just missed two huge late free throws that could’ve made it a one-possession game. He has always been a liability at the late-game FT line. And some ppl actually claim he’s better than Michael Jordan. Laughable. Blasphemous.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) March 3, 2019
Brandon Ingram kept up his recent uptick with 25+ points, but it hardly mattered as the Lakers looked lacklustre throughout the night in a back-to-back scenario. None of the others did much of note.
Especially Luke Walton who on Friday promised to shorten his rotation to get only his best players playing time, to you know, win games; but played 11 players. That was his idea od shortening the rotation.
Lonzo Ball is still missing as he has been for much of his short career so far. If injuries to Lonzo are going to be a constant, the way they have been, his elite court vision and defense will hardly matter.
But nothing beats the broken team chemistry and the attitude of having given up already, than this turnover by LeBron James. Yes, the self proclaimed GOAT, or was it King Goat? He had this turnover in the middle of an up and down game. If this doesn’t say the Lakers have shut down for the season, I don’t know what will.
— CleWest (@erjmanlasvegas) March 3, 2019
LeBron James <=> sleep mode active :/ pic.twitter.com/Pc0VRKyOZg
— Kuzey Kılıç (@kuzeykfg) March 3, 2019
Also note Brandon Ingram’s reaction to this turnover. If you are a neutral, there is no better circus in the NBA right now, than the Lakers.
The Lakers will now have to play out of their skins in order to make sure that they make it to the playoffs. The locker room currently does seem to be in synch with each other and LeBron is not at his ‘clutch best’.
While the team is performing decently well in patches, the glaring inconsistency on part of every player is costing the Lakers dearly. Luke Walton will need to get his side back to the drawing board in order to re-initiate a charge for the playoffs.
A non-LeBron playoff season is round the corner and only LeBron can help change that.