In the preseason expectations were to make the playoff, now, a month left in the regular season, sub-par is the only way to describe the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers are one of the most storied franchises in all of basketball and all of sports for that matter. This organization is home to 16 NBA championships, so it's safe to say there is an expectation of excellence in LA. Signing possibly the greatest basketball player ever, in LeBron James, just made it even more imperative. Even after that, no one expected this franchise to be where it is right now this late into the season.
Over the summer of 2018, the NBA was anxious to know where LeBron James was heading to play next. After he announced he was going to join the Lakers, the expectations of the young team shot up through the roof. When Magic Johnson, president of basketball operations , signed James, he was enthused about their future together.
"This guy is a basketball genius in terms of his mindset," said Johnson. "I told him, we want to get to the championship one day and he could be a big part of leading us back to that.”
These expectations, however, have been let down so far this season.
Los Angeles's front office believed if they could sign James and a few other veterans that they could be a significant influence on their young and talented roster. From the start, this team's chemistry was not there, especially right before the trade deadline.
Right when the team needed a turnaround the most, the front office tried to put most of the young guys on the trading block for Pelicans center Anthony Davis. This killed the locker room and basically started the downfall that they are in right now, that could potentially keep them out of the playoffs.
The Lakers, who are under third-year head coach Luke Walton, have a 30-35 record with only 17 games remaining in the regular season. That record is on pace to be Walton's best in L.A. but it might be too little too late as rumors have swirled about him being fired in the off-season.
Now after all of that being known people ask the question: "Will the Lakers make the playoffs?"
This writer says no. Reason being, they are 6.5 games out of the final playoff spot, which is currently held by the Clippers who are on a three-game win streak. Not to mention, the Lakers are on a four-game losing streak of their own.
There is not enough team play on this ball club to convince me that they can turn it around and make it to the playoffs in the western conference. This is a tough western conference that looks like it might be shutting the doors on Los Angeles for this season.
All you can do now if you are LeBron and the Lakers is move forward from this season, possibly get a new coaching staff, and move some pieces around during free agency for next season.