Just a year and a half removed from their championship run, the Los Angeles Lakers are struggling to keep their heads above the water.
In the aftermath of major roster changes, and several injuries to key players (that includes LeBron James himself), the team has failed to live to expectations.
But do they have any chance to lift the Larry O'Brien trophy when it's all said and done?
According to Stephen A. Smith, the answer is no. In fact, according to him, the Lakers might not even make it past the first round.
"Los Angeles Lakers are the Los Angeles Lakers, it's a different standard. What I am saying is that if I am looking at you as a team and I'm saying 'ain’t no way in hell you winning the championship,' that's my definition. I'm just explaining what my belief is when it pertains to the relevancy of the Lakers. If this were the Clippers I wouldn't say that...
But if you're the Lakers and LeBron James is the face of your franchise and you got Anthony Davis and you got Russell Westbrook and I'm looking at your franchise like 'ain’t no way in hell you winning the chip,' that's relevance.
The Golden State Warriors are the best team as far as I'm concerned. The only team that's got a chance at beating them is the Phoenix Suns. The Los Angeles Lakers might not make it out the first round! They ain't beating Phoenix and they ain't beating the Warriors."
After getting eliminated by the Suns last postseason, the Lakers went out and made a series of moves, including trading for Russell Westbrook -- whose performance has been a matter of debate throughout Laker Nation.
Whatever the case, the Purple and Gold have a lot of work to do if they want to turn their season around. Their performance on both ends has been mediocre at best and for a team with standards as high as the Lakers, that's just not going to cut it...