The Lakers' Ridiculously Bad Season In A Nutshell

The Lakers’ Ridiculously Horrendous Season In A Nutshell

The Los Angeles Lakers are officially out of the Play-In Tournament. They had a chance to keep it alive but ultimately fell to the Phoenix Suns in a hopeless manner 121-110. This makes them the worst superteam in NBA history.

Where did it all go wrong? This question has been plaguing the Lakers’ organization but the problem was very apparent to the fans. Well, the Lakers problems can be summarized in 6 points.

The Questionable Off-Season Trades:-

The 2021 off-season saw a whole roster change for the Lakers. The first trade was when they traded away Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope just to acquire a very controversial Russell Westbrook. Then they gave away Alex Caruso, Andre Drummond, Markieff Morris and Wesley Matthews.

All these players that the Lakers lost were good two way players who provided good defense and steady offense to the Lakers. Then they gave away Dennis Schroder which was a good decision as he just took all of the Lakers possessions.

Added to that was the decision to sign Frank Vogel to an extension and hiring David Fizdale and John Lucas III instead of keeping Jason Kidd and Lionel Hollins. These pieces were just the beginning of a bad season to come.

Russell Westbrook’s role on the Lakers:-

The Lakers had acquired Westbrook from the off-season trade without a proper plan of which position he was going to cover. Westbrook’s ideal play is when he has the ball in his hand and his ability to cut inside. He is an underrated passer but he tends to make too many passes if he is chasing stats.

This season, Westbrook averaged the lowest stats since his sophomore season. The reason being is that his role is so unclear that in the starting of the season, he was averaging triple-doubles and by the time the season was ending, he could not even score 15 points.

Too many washed up veterans:-

Trading away their young complementary pieces was the biggest blunder the Lakers’ organization could have done. Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and a short stint of Rajon Rondo, all of them are past their prime. The young teams basically ran them to the ground and tired them immensely. Even Westbrook’s plays were declining so much so that him having a triple-double had become a rarity.

No defensive identity:-

Head Coach, Frank Vogel is mainly known for his ability to build a defensive oriented team. This season the Lakers were absolutely abysmal on defense so much so that everyone started to question as to why Vogel was even their coach. They were 21st in defensive rating!

After all having a team with older players will obviously lead to less defensive presence. That is the reason why the 1998 Houston Rockets struggled, the 2011 Brooklyn Nets were a disaster. The Lakers followed the similar trend and paid the price for it.

Season riddled with injury:-

The heaviest blow to the Lakers were not having Anthony Davis for the majority of the season due to injury which left them playing with a lineup where LeBron was playing as a Center. Even James’ body could not keep up with that much effort due to which even he had to sit out so many games.   

Hostile locker room:-

Lastly, the Lakers’ might look like a team with good vibe but the inside story is very different than it looks. According to Malik Monk’s statement on ESPN, with so many veteran players in a roster, most of the blame went to the younger players. When you are in a locker room where you are constantly yelled at, then you do not feel any motivation to play for that team.

That was exactly what happened with the Lakers and it became pretty apparent with the body language of the players. Having a negative locker room presence translates to the game and it really shows wih the lack of effort in the court.

These were the major issues which led to Lakers’ disastrous season. They finished with a record of 31-48. The Lakers superteam is the worst in NBA history. Most super teams even if they are bad, they make it to the Playoffs. The Lakers missed the Play-in! The Play-In! This shows what a travesty the Lakers have been. Kobe Bryant is rolling on his grave as he witness’ the sorry state of the Lakers. Now, for the main question; What is the Lakers’ future? In my point of view, they have none.

“Ladies and gentleman you have witnessed the 2nd greatest performance in NBA history.” That’s the way Soham was introduced to the world of Basketball. He is an ardent fan of the game capturing every moment, whether it be the long and turbulent regular season or the nail-biting playoff series. His perspective as a player provides valuable insight to the game. A follower of Kobe Bryant, he brings his mamba mentality in gathering every piece of information of the NBA.