Remember that team that had one of the greatest offseasons in NBA history?
Remember that team that was supposed to finish the 2012-13 regular season with 73 wins?
What about the team that was so talented it would have no problem winning the Western Conference?
Well people, the Los Angeles Lakers are nowhere close to championship form and the team that was supposed to dominate the league is in the same class as constant lottery bound squads like the Sacramento Kings and the Phoenix Suns.
In fact the Lakers have relinquished their title as the best team in the state of California. Actually, they’re not even the best team in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Clippers are head and shoulders ahead of the Lakers in terms of playoff preparation and the Golden State Warriors have had a much better season than the putrid 15-21 Lakers.
The Lakers are six games under .500 and the threat of missing the playoffs is real— there is a good chance the Lakers end up watching the post-season from home.
Before all you fans use the “16 championship banners” argument to knock down the notion that the Clippers and Warriors are better than the Lakers, keep this in mind, records don’t lie. No one is neglecting the incredible history behind the Lakers franchise and all they have accomplished over the years. However, just because the Lakers were dominant in years prior doesn’t make them better than two teams that are well ahead of them in the Pacific Division.
At this point of the season, the Lakers cannot use their championship pedigree to instill fear into opponents or demand respect whenever they hit the court. Truth is, the Lakers are not a good team and it is very disappointing seeing a roster with so much talent struggle to win games.
After the Lakers’ Wednesday night loss to the San Antonio Spurs, people were praising the Lakers for their valiant effort and all passion they played the game with. Fans and analysts were happy with hustle and grit the Lakers showed against the Spurs, but at this time of the year, the Lakers cannot afford any more “moral victories.”
Perhaps early on in the process the coaching staff would have been happy with great intensity in a losing effort, but not anymore. The Lakers are falling behind the other Western Conference teams and before you know it, pandemonium will ensue in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles shouldn’t be proud that it played with heart and energy in a game it ends up losing. Whether the Lakers lose by 45 points or four, a loss is a loss and playing with intensity will not change the record. Even if the Lakers pull together an amazing second half comeback, if the surge falls short, the team will still drop another precious game in the competitive Western Conference.
Time is running out for the Los Angeles Lakers and they cannot settle for “moral victories.” Although those types of losses can indeed help a team with its confidence, at the end of the day, the record will be the same no matter if the margin of defeat is in the high twenties or in the single digits.
Next Page: No More Excuses for This Team