Stop Trying to Make the '21-'22 Los Angeles Lakers Happen. It's Not Going to Happen.
The 2021-2022 Los Angeles Lakers are done. They are not going to figure it out, put it together or go on a run. It's just not going to happen. Not this team. Not this season. Stop trying to make them happen. LeBron James is awesome. The rest of the team is bad. There's no need for this anymore.
LeBron bless Bill Oram of The Athletic. It's his job to write about the Lakers. When they do something impressive like win two out of three games, he's supposed to wonder if the Lakers might finally be turning a corner. If they might finally be figuring it out.
Standing up against the widespread perception that the Lakers season is already lost seems to be a new rallying cry for the Lakers.
“I live for adversity,” said Westbrook, who notched 20 points to go with 11 assists and just one turnover. “Just negativity from people, just outside in, and just constantly talking, because nothing better than shutting people up.”
Perhaps the Lakers have leaned a little too heavily into pushing back against their doubters.
James’ Instagram caption after Westbrook’s game-tying 3 in the overtime win last week in Toronto — “Hi Haters” — certainly felt premature considering it was the Lakers first road win in nearly two months.
But clearly, something was awakened inside these Lakers.
I can assure you it has not. Winning two out of three games only means that their current winning streak is one game in a row. For some perspective, the team with the worst record in the NBA, the Houston Rockets, and the team tied for the second-worst record in the NBA, the Orlando Magic, are both also riding one-game winning streaks. No one is wondering if they have figured something out. If any of their players think this is some grand answer to the haters, doubters and losers, they'll be hard pressed to find someone to write about it.
The Lakers have won two out of three, but they've also lost 10 out of 14. They're still 10 games below .500 and in a traditional NBA season without a gimmicky play-in tournament they would be on the outside looking in. Four and a half games behind the Clippers for the final playoff spot with just 11 games remaining on their schedule.
Fortunately for this Lakers squad, there is a play-in tournament. So instead of sitting on the brink of elimination, they're locked into a lottery ticket. They can win a one-game playoff and earn the right to take on a young Memphis Grizzlies team. Or the Golden State Warriors team they beat in last year's play-in. Heck, they've still got LeBron James. And isn't Anthony Davis about to come back? Let's go to perpetually optimistic Magic Johnson.
Obviously, it's been awhile since the Lakers have won. The last time the Lakers won two out of three was before the Super Bowl. Even when Davis does return, the Lakers have won just four out of ten games he's played in in 2022. This Lakers team is broken and bringing back Davis isn't just going to magically fix it. They are 17-20 with Davis in the lineup this season. That's a .459 winning percentage which extrapolated over the entire season would make them... 9th in the Western Conference. The exact same place they are now.
The 2021-2022 Lakers are done. Stop trying to make them happen.