It's fair to say that this season hasn't gone the way the Los Angeles Lakers intended. They entered the campaign as reigning champions but can't seem to catch a break in terms of injuries.
The Lakers continue to slide in the standings and are now almost a lock to play in the play-in tournament, and according to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, they may not even get past that instance:
"I'm scared right now. I'm scared for the Los Angeles Lakers. I wanna put the basketball world on official notice: I don't even know if the Lakers get past the play-in. I don't even know if the Lakers get past the play-in game," Stephen A. started. "They don't look good. They don't look good at all.
The controversial pundit went on to detail the biggest issues with the Lakers in terms of personnel, pointing out Anthony Davis and LeBron James' injuries and the fact that they're now lacking a floor general without Rajon Rondo:
"Anthony Davis - we all know, when healthy, the guy is All-World. But everything that can happen seems to happen to him. This calf injury, then it looked like it was his ankle last night, he was out in the first quarter, and then after that, we hear that it's back spasms, for crying out loud. LeBron James, he comes back and says he'll never be 100% again. I believe that's hyperbole, I don't believe that for one second. But he could be talking about 'I'm not going to be 100% again this season'. I'm looking that the fact that Rondo is no longer there. He's on the other sideline with the Clippers. Even though Dennis Schroder. I mean, the bottom line is that they're better offensively with him on the court but poorest defensively when he's on the court, they're better without him defensively. Kyle Kuzma (...) he's scoring one minute, the next thing you know he disappears for three quarters." Smith added.
Smith claimed that, to add insult to injury, the Lakers chose a bad time to be unhealthy, as the rest of the Western Conference is just too good to sleep on them and that they're not exactly favorites right now:
"I'm very concerned about the Los Angeles Lakers from that standpoint alone. Then, when you take a look at the rest of the Western Conference (...) there are reasons to be concerned about the Los Angeles Lakers. Right now, I'm officially in panic mode," Stephen A. concluded.
If the season ended today, the Lakers would have to play vs. the Warriors for the 7th seed, and we all know that Stephen Curry isn't the guy you want to face when he just needs to win one game.