That’s the outrageous query Lakers followers should be asking themselves at the moment after probably the most outrageous opening stretch in franchise historical past.
The Lakers have performed 5 video games. They’ve misplaced 5 video games. Typically they’ve appeared hapless. Different occasions they’ve appeared helpless. At all times they’ve appeared hopeless.
They’ve been blown out. They’ve blown a seven-point lead within the final two minutes. They’ve misplaced at residence. They’ve misplaced on the street. They’ve misplaced to the reigning NBA champions. They’ve misplaced to a group that final season misplaced 68% of its video games.
They’ve been the worst-scoring group within the NBA. They’ve been the worst three-point taking pictures group in NBA historical past. They’re within the prime three within the league in turnovers.
Russell Westbrook, who’s making $47 million this season, missed all 11 pictures in a single sport. Anthony Davis, newly nicknamed “Street Clothes,” has already been sidelined with a again harm. LeBron James is off to the worst taking pictures begin in his 20-year profession.
One in all their beginning lineups has included Troy Brown Jr. and Damian Jones. Their finest three-point shooter has been Matt Ryan. Lakers followers have been like, who?
At one level, Westbrook accused the group of inflicting his hamstring harm by taking part in him as a reserve as an alternative of a starter. At one other level, James criticized the roster building. Poor Darvin Ham is already sounding precisely like poor Frank Vogel.
“We haven’t really been whole,” the brand new coach instructed reporters Friday in Minnesota. “I’m just looking forward to that day when we get healthy and we’re able to really have a variety of directions we can go in with our lineup based on guys being healthy and available.”
Boos at residence. Taunts on the street. “Oh-and-five … oh-and-five!” Shudders in all places. Questions abound.
Are they ever going to win a sport? And once they do, is it going to be too late?
Worry not, they in all probability gained’t threaten the worst begin in NBA historical past, an 0-18 mark shared by the 2015-2016 Philadelphia 76ers and the 2009-2010 New Jersey Nets.
Nonetheless, confronted with six consecutive video games in opposition to groups with profitable information, they may simply fall to 0-11 earlier than a Nov. 11 residence sport in opposition to also-winless Sacramento.
Additionally, don’t fear, they shouldn’t threaten the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers’ document for fewest wins in an 82-game season with 9.
But the one different time in Los Angeles they started a season 0-5, the 2014-2015 Lakers completed 21-61, so the following six months would possibly really feel like 9 wins.
Time to panic? Um, sure. A name for front-office motion? You suppose?
Simply hearken to the phrases of their most credible celeb diehard fan Flea, a optimistic dude who has at all times supported the Lakers unconditionally.
Earlier this week he tweeted, “This laker team is not equipped to win.”
A day later he tweeted, “Dear Rob Pelinka, do something now. Either blow it all up and rebuild, or mortgage the future to fix the lack of chemistry and skill on this basketball team. Do not let another season meander its way down the drain, wasting the great LeBron James’ sunset of his career.”
Amen. This house has made the identical pleas, many times, starting final season when it was apparent that the commerce for Westbrook gutted their title hopes and turned them right into a nightly cringe.
At this level, the hope that Davis can keep on the courtroom is gone, the hope that Westbrook can match into the system is gone, and if adjustments aren’t made, quickly the season will likely be gone.
If it’s not gone already.
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Very first thing, the Lakers have to lastly, severely entertain the concept of buying and selling Davis. C’mon, can they at the very least give it some thought?
In doing so, they have to give up the hope that he can ever take the torch from James and cause them to a championship. He can’t. He gained’t. His physique — and his mentality — gained’t let him.
Quit the assumption that he’ll ever be resilient. Quit the belief that he’ll do the correct offseason coaching. Quit the notion that he’ll ever be a season-long power. Give him up for a few first-round draft picks and begin the rebuilding course of.
In failing to remain on the courtroom even for the primary 5 video games this season, Davis’ longstanding harm points have turn out to be about greater than his physique. For the primary time, a teammate stated his accidents are additionally intertwined together with his psychological state.
“He has to do what’s best for his body and his mind,” stated James on Friday. “If his mind is gone, then everything else will fall to the wayside.”
In different phrases, not solely does Davis must be harder, he has to imagine he will be harder. If that hasn’t occurred by now, it’s not going to occur.
Ship him off now, get youthful, get extra draft capital, at the very least give your followers hope that there’s a future past the potential for 0-11.
Whereas they’re at it, commerce Westbrook too. This was written right here earlier final week, and even his first rate efficiency off the bench in Minnesota doesn’t change that view. He nonetheless doesn’t match. It nonetheless doesn’t work. He can carry them a few shooters who may assist them at the very least compete for a play-in spot, which is able to at the very least hold the followers entertained till extra strikes will be made subsequent summer season.
what this group actually wants? Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma and Alex Caruso.
You bear in mind what occurred to these three championship gamers? Traded, traded and allowed to stroll as a free agent.
what they’re attempting to win with now? Patrick Beverley, Lonnie Walker IV and Austin Reaves.
You watched what these guys have accomplished in 5 video games? Beverley has scored six complete baskets, Walker is taking pictures 15% from the three-point arc, and final season’s favourite Reaves has been largely invisible.
Regardless that it’s absolutely troublesome to work below the heavy thumb of Klutch Sports activities, Pelinka made some obvious errors, and now he must work extra time to avoid wasting the season. There have been some indications this summer season that one other missed playoff would put his job in jeopardy, however the latest information of his four-year contract extension just about dismisses that concept.
All the scenario is an unholy mess with no fast repair, no simple escape, no actual hope, and just one actual optimistic certainty.
Sooner or later this season, the Lakers will really win a basketball sport.