As far as games played, the Los Angeles Lakers reached and the halfway point of the season with a 22-19 record. They went into the proverbial second half with a win over the Detroit Pistons, giving them back-to-back victories.
There have been some positive moments and development as well as some issues for head coach Luke Walton’s team so far this season. One ongoing problem has been consistency when it comes to lineups and rotations.
Thanks to injuries and suspensions the only three Lakers to play every game have been Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. As such, Walton has had to constantly change lineups and rotations on an almost nightly basis in order to find the right combinations of players that will work.
Even with that obstacle, the Lakers are right in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. It’s something Walton is excited about despite the first half of the season bringing about more questions than answers, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:
“Really, there’s probably more unknown than there is known, just because of the amount of injuries we’ve gone through and the different lineups, even with the suspensions of trying to get the continuity of who plays, what matchups are playing well together. … I think it’s exciting that we’re where we’re at and we still have so much room to grow.”
Obviously, the biggest loss this season has been LeBron James. The Lakers have predictably struggled since his groin strain suffered on Christmas Day. The good news is that he’s been cleared for increased on-court activity after being re-evaluated.
Rajon Rondo has been limited to just 14 games so far this season thanks to injuries and suspensions, but once he gets back he will give the Lakers one of their most trusted playmakers and veterans.
Once the Lakers return to full strength, Walton will be able to really nail down his best lineups and rotations which will help the team continue to grow together as they push towards the playoffs.
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