The Los Angeles Lakers are ranked in the middle of the pack in ESPN’s NBA Power Rankings heading into Week 4.
The 2018-19 regular season has lived up to the billing for the Los Angeles Lakers. They were going to be under the microscope right from the start, and that has happened.
Despite a 4-6 start to the season, Los Angeles has been the center of attention in the NBA. Some of the reasons for being in the spotlight have been positive. JaVale McGee has exceeded expectations exponentially. Lance Stephenson has looked good when given a chance. Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart continue to impress. However, there have been some negatives as well.
Their defense has been atrocious. The fight with the Houston Rockets was an eyesore, setting the team back in more ways than one. With the constant juggling of the rotation, the Lakers have been unable to make progress on building chemistry and cohesion.
The lack of cohesion and early losses have put head coach Luke Walton in the spotlight. As the case whenever a team struggles, the head coach will become the center of attention. If a change has to be made, the coach is the first person that people look to.
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That is where the Lakers are at right now. Some of those issues were quelled when the Lakers won two consecutive games during the week. After a meeting between Walton and Magic Johnson, the Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers.
The victories weren’t pretty, but a win is a win. However, any goodwill created by those victories was lost over the weekend.
In the second game of their back-to-back, the Lakers were blown out by the Toronto Raptors. Yes, the Raptors are currently tied for the best record in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors.
It was an ugly performance, as the past week showcased more inconsistencies with the Lakers. As a result, Los Angeles hasn’t moved much in the NBA Power Rankings over at ESPN.
The Lakers held steady at No. 15 in the power rankings heading into Week 4. Here is what they had to say about their landing spot.
Confrontational meetings! LeBron’s game-winning free throws! A quarterback controversy! A veteran signing! A Sunday beatdown at home! The storylines are swirling in Los Angeles, and Thanksgiving is still more than two weeks away. But it’s not drama that’s holding the Lakers back — it’s defense, where the Lakers rank squarely in the bottom 10 of the league. — Arnovitz
The Lakers have a quieter schedule in Week 4. They will play only three times, starting tonight against the Minnesota Timberwolves. They will then finish things up over the weekend with a very winnable back-to-back set on the road against the Sacramento Kings and at home against the Atlanta Hawks.
We should also see Tyson Chandler make his debut with the team tonight, as his signing became official on Tuesday. He should help shore up some of the Lakers’ problems on the defensive side of the ball given his shot blocking and rebounding prowess.
David Liam Kyle-NBAE via Getty Images Long regarded as the best to ever grace the hardwood…