The Los Angeles Lakers may have hit rock bottom Wednesday night. Well, we sure hope so, at the very least. And as easily as I could keep incessantly whining about this guard-heavy roster, how poorly equipped Frank Vogel appears to handle its shortcomings, Russell Westbrook’s decision making and whatever else comes up, I’d rather just laugh at James Harden.
Can we all just laugh at James Harden? It’s fun! Join in!
But first, this week on “The Hook,” Aaron Larsuel and I spent some time trying to figure out what the hell happened to the Lakers in Oklahoma City, whether any concerns from that game extend beyond that result, and if so, whether those issues are fixable as the roster is currently constructed.
How depressing does all that sound, though? Let’s laugh at Harden!
In all seriousness, it’s pretty insane that the betting favorites heading into this season have not incurred any injuries and yet very few see them as the prohibitive favorites we once thought. Think about that. Brooklyn had all the makings of an NBA champion given what matters in this league, and yet a few rules changes and a vaccine mandate later, everything about them feels different.
This also begs the question of whether we have seen the best of James Harden. He’s not getting younger and has never exactly attacked the offseason. We tried to figure out what kind of player he might become if he can’t get to the free-throw line and defenders aren’t afraid to guard him anymore because his insurance fraud approach to basketball has been rendered ineffective by rule changes.
From there, we discussed other surprises from around the league and jumped into story time.
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.