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Lakers get blown out and embarrassed by Bucks on national television

These Lakers very much do not appear to be a title contender as currently constructed. The Bucks made that clear enough, and right now, it doesn’t even look like the NBA trade deadline can fix it.

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NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Postgame Update: The Lakers eventually lost 131-116 to the Milwaukee Bucks after another fake comeback in the fourth quarter. What follows is our original recap, posted at the third quarter break.


Stop me if you’ve heard this story before: The Lakers played against a title contender on national television, and in front of the entire country, got absolutely punked. On Tuesday night, it was the Milwaukee Bucks, but the opponent and the exact specifics don’t really matter at this point. The main takeaway is that the Lakers just don’t even appear to be playing the same sport as their fellow would-be title contenders.

To illustrate that fact, I published this recap between the third and fourth quarter. The Lakers are down 109-83, and while I’ll update with the final score later, this team was down 30 by midway through the third frame. I’m not wasting my time, and to be honest, if you still have your TV on at this point, good for you. And if they have another one of their now-patented fake comebacks to make it look closer than it was, good for them.

L.A. looked decent offensively in the first half, shooting 50% from the field, but it was on the other end where they didn’t look prepared to stop a literal buck learning to play basketball with its antlers, much less the professional basketball team from Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Co. shot 68.2% in the first against an L.A. defense that offered little to no resistance, both at the rim, or at stopping Milwaukee from getting there. As a result, they gave up 78 points in the first two quarters.

I could get more specific, but does anyone really need that at this point? In slack, we’ve taken to calling these recap posts “recraps,” because it’s almost always “same shit, different day.” Inconsistent role players that can’t put together enough consistency often enough to support LeBron James and Anthony Davis? Russell Westbrook being inefficient? Yes and yes.

The exact numbers don’t really matter. It’s the same stuff, almost every time. I’m done serving as Charlie Brown to this team before it Lucy’s the football away again.

This roster just plain isn’t good enough to contend for a title as currently constructed. Can they change that at the NBA trade deadline on Thursday? Maybe, maybe not. But thankfully we won’t have to watch this exact version of the roster for much longer. They “compete” — I use that term loosely — in their final game before the deadline tomorrow night, when they’ll head to Portland to face the Trail Blazers.

Thankfully, at least that one won’t be on national television.

To keep up with all the latest reports before the deadline, check out our 2022 Lakers trade rumors tracker. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.