After a slow start to the season, the Los Angele Lakers have questions to answer moving forward.
This Los Angeles Lakers squad was built with the understanding that this is a two-year project. Win as many games this season, make a run in the playoffs, and play the free agency game next summer. That was the plan. That is, however, why you play the games.
The sluggish start has created two important narratives to this point. First, you have the reported, not so cordial, meeting between Magic Johnson and Luke Walton. Luke, coming into this season, was an afterthought in terms of change.
He was thought to have done a fairly good job with the young talent he possessed. Developing Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma into quality NBA players was key. Unfortunately, this team has not lived up to expectations this season.
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In the end, I think he survives this season, but he is on management’s radar moving forward.
And then you have the play of LeBron James. James has been incredible to start the season. He is reaching his career clip of 27 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists per game.
He has given us spectacular plays, he has been a box office hit. James is the leader, he is the alpha, just not in the fourth quarter.
Fourth quarter woes have haunted the Lakers this season, especially from the perimeter. They currently rank 24th in fourth quarter scoring averaging 25.6 points.
This is a young team that is still learning how to win. That is why it has been so surprising to see LeBron James deciding to be passive late in games. We did not see this a season ago in Cleveland. Last season we saw a LeBron James aggressive and attentive in the fourth quarter of games, and often, will his teams to victory.
I understand that it is still early in the season and this is a Lakers roster with a lot of new faces still identifying roles. There will be struggles.
In the meantime, however, it is time for the best player in the world to take control of the ship. The amount of close games this team has lost this season usually what happens to a team without a closer. That is not the case with the Lakers this season, as they have LeBron James.
This team has an opportunity to do some special things. They just need their best player to lead them there in the midst of some early season struggles in crunch time.
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