The Los Angeles Lakers have already clinched the West’s top position. Bearing in mind their star power, depth, and record through the 2019-20 campaign, it’s hard not to give them the benefit of the doubt.
But they have struggled pretty mightily in the bubble so far, and nobody really knows why. They’ve dropped 4 of the 7 seeding games so far and the ones they did win weren’t exactly convincing or dominating performances. Needless to say, there’s plenty of reason to be concerned about the Lakers.
In fact, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, the Lakers starting five of LeBron, AD, Danny, and KCP are the worst lineup of any lineup in the Orlando bubble.
“There’s been more than 1800 five-man lineups used in Orlando. The *worst* lineup is the Lakers starting lineup, -28 in 41 minutes with LeBron, JaVale, Danny, AD and KCP”
The bubble seems to be messing with a lot of the top contenders. The Bucks are 2-4 in the bubble, the Clippers are 3-3, the Jazz are 2-5, and the Heat are 3-3. But perhaps no top tier squad has looked worse than the Lakers.
Davis has had some questionable game lately, scoring just 8 points in Saturday’s loss to Indiana, and 9 points in Wednesday’s defeat against the OKC Thunder.
LeBron James has looked a step behind since he arrived. His points and assists numbers have been down and his true shooting percentage of 51.9 at the restart is down from 57.7 before the break.
The Lakers have seen inconsistency from every player on their roster so far in the bubble and as their two stars struggle to adjust to the circumstances, the team is struggling to string together some wins before the playoffs begin.
Can LeBron and AD get back in MVP form? How will the Lakers shakeup their lineups in response to their struggles? Should they still be favored to come out of the West?
There’s only one way these questions will be answered, and that’s the basketball that will be played out in the next few weeks to come. Buckle up, because it’s going to be a wild ride.