Lakers Are Bad and LeBron Knows it

If Anthony Davis is healthy, the Lakers are a top team in the West. If Russell Westbrook was a perimeter shooter, the Lakers could make it to the Finals. While all these hypotheticals are likely, it's time to stop dreaming and letting the most storied franchise in NBA history off the hook. Sure, injuries have impeded their efforts since their controversial finals win against the Miami Heat in the COVID-19 bubble, but the experiment of the Big Three meshing together is fading quickly.

Every season presents a new feeling of hope and promise for a struggling team. However, LeBron James openly admitting their absence of three-point shooters after their opening night loss to the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors reiterated the fact that the Lakers' success this season is few and far between. After welcoming new head coach Darvin Ham and putting Frank Vogel behind them, Rob Pelinka and the front office failed to acquire any three-point assets to help address the team's Achilles heel.

Players who can stretch the floor and make shots is what the modern NBA has evolved into. If you look at all the top teams who are formidable, a common theme is strong perimeter play paired with a force on the inside. That's the remedy to making the playoffs and winning a championship in today's age, whereas 20 years ago, it was largely pounding the paint that won guys like Shaquille O'Neal multiple rings.

The Lakers have themselves a dominant big man and his name is Anthony Davis. Davis looked like a top-five power forward on Wednesday, finishing with 27 points and 4 steals. However, trusting Davis to stay healthy for the remainder of the season seems pretty far fetched considering he's only played 76 games the past two seasons. We saw that first hand on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, where Davis fell awkwardly on his back that kept him in and out of the game during crucial moments.

And then there's Russell Westbrick ... I mean Westbrook, sorry. Of course I wasn't going to dodge the trade elephant in the room. Against the Clippers Thursday night, Westbrook was horrible. He scored 2 points and shot 0-11 from the field and 0-6 from beyond the arc. To have the most triple doubles in NBA history is a tremendous accomplishment, but in no way is Westbrook the player he used to be and evidently isn't what the team had in mind when shipping off valuable assets in the blockbuster trade to acquire him.

For the Lakers to truly recapture their elite status, a rebuild may be the only logical way out of this mess. Lonely LeBron in the final stages of his career has no one to maximize his strengths as a passer. No one to rely on in clutch moments of the game and no one to create their own shot to lift the burden off him. It's simply non-existent and we are better off assuming the Lakers' postseason and championship window is closed until further notice.

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