The Los Angeles Lakers suffered one of the most embarrassing losses of my lifetime on Wednesday night against the Thunder. We could get into the specifics of how it played out and all that but I just ate and I really enjoyed my breakfast.
Instead, I think it’s worthwhile to examine how last night happened. Where did this team go wrong, both in the context of last night specifically, but also how it came together? This week, on a second edition of “Lakers Lounge,” (because I sure as hell did not love basketball last night) Jacob Rude sat in to entertain my ranting and raving, with a side of ranting and raving of his own.
Honestly, it all starts with the roster, itself. Sure, we could point to Frank Vogel not optimizing it as it currently stands, but turds and polish and all that. LeBron James needs to take another trip into his wine cellar to figure out what the hell he was thinking.
It’s funny. Every year, James exits a grueling season of carrying his team and enters the offseason thinking about how nice it would be to carry a lighter load. When Magic Johnson was in charge, they had his grand experiment of surrounding James will ball-handlers. LeBron literally made a fart noise just thinking about it after the fact.
Johnson obviously exited stage left, but his experiment remained, this time to the nth degree, in bringing in Russell Westbrook.
There’s still time to figure it out with those two, but one point needs to be hammered home: In other to compete with NBA size and athleticism, you need NBA size and athleticism up and down the roster. The Lakers have it with a couple guys here and there at a couple of positions, but at arguably the most important spot (the wing), there is none to be found beyond James, himself. It’s one of the more glaring oversights a contender made last summer.
Anyway, Jacob and I discussed all that, Westbrook and Anthony Davis’ empty stats, Vogel’s approach and lack of options, as well as a whole lot more on our latest show.
And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.