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It’s been a rough start of the season for Los Angeles Lakers, a team considered by many to be one of the favourites to go all the way and win the NBA championship this season.
However, the team did not perform according to expectations so far, with eleven wins and eleven losses after the first twenty two matches. Even more worrying is the list of the teams that managed to beat the Lakers so far, which includes teams like Thunder, Kings, Timberwolves – all teams unlikely to come close to the playoffs this year.
And while it’s way to early to press the panic button, it’s a potentially worrying sign of things to come for the team. So, let’s take a look at three things that are bound to make or brake the season for the Lakers:
Can the Lakers Stay Healthy Enough to Win?
It’s clear that these Lakers are a team that’s bound to have injury issues as an added obstacle to their road to championship. First of all, the roster includes a lot of veteran players such as LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza, Carmelo Anthony, DeAndre Jordan, and Rajon Rondo. All of these players are well in their thirties and it’s impossible to count on all of them staying healthy.
On top of that, there’s the issue of Anthony Davis. While Davis is certainly one of the best big men in the league, he rarely played anything close to a full season due to injuries, both minor and major. So, that’s another question mark about the team’s health.
Do the Lakers Have a Good Team Chemistry?
We’ve barely gone a quarter of the season and there are already many reports of incidents relating to the Lakers and their players, like the spat between Howard and Davis, LeBron James getting ejected and suspended for one match after a fight with Isaiah Stewart, or Rondo’s incident with a courtside fan.
While this is still not much and there are certainly differences between teammates to be found in all NBA teams and while fights do break out all the time on NBA courts, it could also be a sign of a bad chemistry among the Lakers. Whether it’s just frustration from poor performances or something much bigger and more concerning long-term, it remains to be seen.
Will the Lakers Be able to Find Their Stride on Court?
The unconvincing start of the season has already put head coach Frank Vogel in the line of fire, deservedly so. But the team’s on-court problems run much deeper than the coaching staff. These Lakers are a completely different team than the Lakers who won the NBA title in the bubble a coupe of years back and the addition of that many players often requires a complete change of style – especially if one of those players is Rusell Westbrook.
In addition to this, the team has a lot of other problems to solve. For example, the Lakers are often at their best with Anthony Davis at center, but that is not a situation that is utilized as much as it should be, primarily because Davis prefers to play at power forward and refuses to buy into the role.
So, it’s clear that a road to victory for the Lakers is a long and winding one and we can only wait and see whether this team can arrive at its destination.