The Lakers are an average team, but they have the advantage of hosting home games in Los Angeles. The other seven teams all need to travel before playing their first game. That means it’s unlikely any of those eight teams will win three consecutive road games without at least one loss along the way (even if that opponent is a lower seed). Additionally, five out of six first-round matchups feature Western Conference foes; this makes it less likely for any East Coast team to sneak into the playoffs and steal an early matchup against Laker Nation.,
The Los Angeles Lakers had a disappointing season, finishing just 33-49. Despite their lackluster performance, the team is still considered a favorite to win the NBA Championship this year. However, they have some tough teams in their path and will likely be eliminated early from the playoffsThe “nba playoffs 2021” is a popular article that discusses five reasons why the Los Angeles Lakers will lose in the first round of the playoffs.
You may call it an overreaction if you want, but some of us have been predicting it from the beginning. When the Lakers acquired Russell Westbrook, there were plenty of skeptics who came out of the woodwork to dismiss the team. Some of them now feel vindicated after their first game of the season and Westbrook’s dreadful stat line.
There are red flags with this Laker squad even before the first game of the season. This squad has a lot of big stars on paper. Although the ceiling is high, the floor is also quite low. Because of this, this squad might easily lose in the first round of the playoffs.
1. The Team Is Experienced
The Lakers are the NBA’s oldest team. The last time an older team won the championship was the Chicago Bulls in 1998. Michael Jordan was 35 years old at the time, while Dennis Rodman was 37. Even though these individuals didn’t let their age determine their performance, the Bulls did have some younger players surrounding them. Some may argue that the 2011 Dallas Mavericks were also an older team, but Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, and Brendan Haywood were all 32 at the time.
At the age of 28, Tyson Chandler was in his peak. Jason Kidd was 38 years old, yet he was mostly used as a backup point guard. The Lakers depend on LeBron James, who is 37 years old, Russell Westbrook, 32, and Anthony Davis, who is 28 years old. Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, Wayne Ellington, and DeAndre Jordan make up the bench, all of whom are in their 30s.
There’s a significant difference between playing basketball in this league when you’re 32 and when you’re 37. When you’re in your early thirties, you still have some good years ahead of you. The closer you get to 40, the more wear and tear you’ll experience. That is why, if it were 2010, the Lakers would have a fantastic squad.
2. Russell Westbrook and LeBron James don’t get along.
The title is self-explanatory. Westbrook has been utilized in the offense over 30% of the time since 2010. Since then, that percentage has never dropped below 30%, implying that the ball is in Westbrook’s hands one out of every three trips down the floor. How do you think he’s able to put up those triple-double numbers? It’s because he always manages to get his hands on the ball.
Last season, Westbrook assisted on 48.6% of the team’s plays, which was the most in the NBA. Westbrook was on the court 19 percent of the time in the team’s first game, yet he only assisted on 13 percent of the team’s baskets. We shouldn’t make snap judgments based on a single game, but we knew this would be an issue. Westbrook has a distinct flair that will clash with this regime.
LeBron, like Westbrook, thrives when he has the ball in his hands. Since 2005, he has reached the 30% mark every season. You’re implying that two guys, who are employed in the offensive 60% of the time, will be able to make this work? In 2019-2020, LeBron topped the league in assist percentage (49.1%), thus both players seem to be capable point guards when required. When was the last time you witnessed two really talented point guards lead a team to a championship?
3. The Lakers are unable to shoot from beyond the arc.
The Lakers lost their top and second-best three-point shooters from last season to the Wizards when they traded Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for Westbrook. LeBron, who is a mediocre outside shooter at best, was the team’s third-best three-point shooter. The crew also did not bring in any reinforcements to assist with the problem.
Carmelo Anthony was brought in to help replace both players, but until this year, he had never shot more than 40% in his career. In addition, Anthony will be 38 in May and is no Ray Allen or Kyle Korver. Anthony will probably only take three to four three-point attempts every night. The Lakers have a huge void here that they failed to fill in the summer.
In the first game, Westbrook, Davis, and Kent Bazemore combined to go 3-for-17 from three-point range. We’d want to give them more time to grow, but statistically, none of them are really good outside shooters. Although Malik Monk has the potential to be a breakthrough shooter, this is not a deep outside shooting squad.
4. It Hasn’t Been Done To Lead A Team At 37 Years Old
Michael Jordan, who was 35 years old at the time, departed the Bulls after winning his sixth title in 1998. Jordan returned to the Wizards, but he was unable to make them competitive. Karl Malone, who was 34 at the time, led the Jazz to the same NBA Finals. Following that year, the Jazz were eliminated in the second round for two years in a row, and then in the first round for three years in a row.
Kobe Bryant was just 31 years old when the Lakers won in 2010. The Lakers were booted in the second round two years following those championship years, with a first-round loss in 2013. The data indicates that the Lakers have a chance to go to the second round of the playoffs, but since LeBron is three years older than Kobe Bryant at the time, the postseason trajectory is less likely.
In this category, LeBron James will be the oldest player to try to lead his team to the NBA Finals. Jordan, Malone, and Bryant have all failed in the past. While LeBron will have a fair shot at it, all indicators point against him.
A Defensive Nightmare is number five on the list.
Outside of Anthony Davis, who will play defense for this team? To have a defensive-minded player on the roster, the club had to sign Avery Bradley off the waiver wire. It’s impossible to expect LeBron to play hard defense and score 30 points at the age of 37. Westbrook is a tough athlete, but he no longer has the same amount of energy that he had ten years ago. Dwight Howard is no longer a Defensive Player of the Year contender, and Rajon Rondo’s defensive prowess is long gone.
Over the previous several years, the defense has won titles to some degree. The Toronto Raptors, headed by Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry, succeeded in 2019 because to their defense. The Lakers were a top-three defensive club in the NBA in 2020, and they rode that defense to the top. Davis was even the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year. With Defensive Player of the Year contender Giannis Antetkounmpo, the Bucks were a top defensive club in the NBA last season.
Monk, Anthony, Kent Bazemore, Howard, and whatever the point guard is this year is not a tough defensive team. The Lakers will have to score because giving up 120 points every night might become the norm for them. The Lakers won’t be able to stay up, particularly if Frank Vogel can’t figure out how to get his Big Three to work together.
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The “nba rumors” are that the Los Angeles Lakers will lose in the first round of the playoffs. There are five reasons why they will lose.
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