After winning their 17th championship in franchise history last year in the NBA Bubble, the Los Angeles Lakers added more talent to their roster in the offseason to try and repeat as champions this year. Montrezl Harrell and Dennis Schroder were their two big offseason acquisitions and adding Andre Drummond after the NBA trade deadline has given them even more firepower, yet the Lakers have still struggled.
Early on in the year, the Lakers were one of the best teams record wise, but then Anthony Davis injured his calf and LeBron James went down with a high ankle sprain. Davis missed nearly two months before returning to action and LeBron James missed nearly a month with his ankle injury.
Now, Anthony Davis seemed to be alright initially, as he has played 30+ minutes in four consecutive games, but he now is dealing with back spasms. There is also still concern that LeBron James is not 100% healthy. LeBron has played in two games since returning from his ankle sprain, but against the Toronto Raptors the other night, he left the game early due to his ankle hurting and being sore.
LeBron James sat against the Denver Nuggets in a “must-win” game for Los Angeles, putting this team in a very tough position. The Lakers are now 37-29 and are tied with the Portland Trail Blazers jockeying for the 6 and 7 positions in the Western Conference Playoff Picture. To make matters worse, the Dallas Mavericks have gained a 1.5 game cushion for the 5th seed.
The Lakers have lost 7 of their last 10 and if they continue to struggle, they may have to fight for their playoff lives in this year’s play-in tournament. Los Angeles is not looking good right now and here is why we should be concerned with this team heading into the playoffs.