“Lakers–Bad Start–Bad Ending”
It was the best of times and the worst of times.
And now it is over, this Lakers basketball season.
The Purple & Gold were run out of the NBA playoffs last night by Denver, as the Nuggets rallied from a 15-point deficit to knock out LA.
It was a (36-13) third quarter run that changed the game.
It was a fatal fourth quarter, when the Lakers went away from LeBron James’ historical night, and could not get the ball to fall. James wound up with 1-basket in the season ending final quarter.
He looked gassed, nowhere near the guy who poured home 31-points in a wild first half.
It was the inability to stop the Nuggets big two, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, their big two as explosive and dominant as King James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers big two..
The feel good finish to the season dissipated quickly.
The Lakers season was all about peaks and valleys. The awful (2-10) start, the struggles in the Russell Westbrook period, the huge deals at the trade deadline, and the challenge to find chemistry.
Caught in the middle of the mess was Darvin Ham, who as coach, had to deal with the revolving door of personalities , the fragile team chemistry, the re-designed roles players had, and the injuries, the never ending nagging injuries to LeBron and AD.
The Lakers got hot, got back into the playoff race, but I always wondeed how fragile a team it really was? They should have lost to an immature Minnesota team in the play in game..
Ups and downs as they either got blown out or blew someone out in the 2nd round. What did you take from the Golden State series, or how this nailbiter of a series ended up with the Nuggets.
Now we go to the off season, with no salary cap space, no number one draft picks, and the reality there are an awful lot of things that still don’t fit on the roster.
Add in AD and King James will be a year older by the time camp opens next fall, and the burning question, do they have enough complimentary parts to be a great team, or is that only linked in the two stars can play 45 minutes a night.
They found a gem in Austin Reaves. They should say good bye to the erratic D’Angelo Russell. Rui Hatchamora shows explosive promise but no consistency. Ditto for Dennis Schroeder and a host of other off the bench guys.
If you can’t be rock solid while playing alongside #3 and #6, then what makes you think things will be better next year in LA?
They got to the NBA Western finals, quite an accomplishment, considering how they started, how they finished. But they are not a championship franchise, and might be facing another rebuild, one of many, under GM-Rob Pelinka.
A bad start, a bad ending, and the team is not better now than it was before. And that’s discouraging.