The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, effectively ending their season as they fell two full games behind the San Antonio Spurs for the final spot in the play-in tournament with just four games remaining. It was the sixth consecutive loss for the Lakers. LeBron James did not suit up, but Anthony Davis did. After the game AD spoke with the press to wonder what could have been?
Anthony Davis wondering what could have been if Anthony Davis was health is a real Hot Dog Guy moment.
LeBron has been pretty healthy this season. He's played 56 games so far, with what we assume are plans to appear in two more so he can qualify for the scoring title. He missed an eight-game stretch in November and a five-game stretch in January, with the Lakers going 4-9 during those absences. But otherwise, he's been in the lineup and he's played some great basketball.
This Lakers team was doomed from the minute they landed Russell Westbrook. It was obvious and most people assumed he would eventually kill them in the postseason, but at least some (I) thought he would be able to help them win games while Davis and James missed games in the regular season. Obviously, that was very wrong and this Lakers team is horrible.
Adding Kendrick Nunn would not have been the difference. The Lakers are currently 31-47. They're 16 games under .500. How many games better would they have been with a healthy LeBron, AD and Nunn? Would they have been a .500 team? That would have them in the 8-seed, hoping to earn a shot at getting beat by the best team in the NBA in the first round of the playoffs. Would they have won 15 more games? They'd be fighting for maybe a 5-seed.
It seems the most optimistic outcome of this season for the Lakers was a middle of the pack playoff team. Most people (myself included) were just blinded by the nostalgia and familiar names. Things went about as well as a realist should have envisioned for this collection of players. That's probably hindsight, but who cares? It's the truth we're living right now. This Lakers team is bad and stood no chance of being great.