Although they have two wins and the Sixers are still winless the Los Angeles Lakers are the worst team in basketball. Their games should be replaced on National television because it’s depressing watching them play basketball. Make no mistake about it the Lakers are tanking this season.
If the Lakers were actually trying they would unleash their young guns and stop letting Kobe shoot the ball. Kobe is supposed to be playing less but he’s tied with Jordan Clarkson for the team lead in minutes per game (30). While on the floor Kobe just takes a bunch of shots. He’s shooting 31% from the field and 19% from 3-point range. For some reason Kobe takes seven 3-pointers per game.
D’Angelo Russell is 8th in minutes per game for rookies. He’s behind guys like Nemanja Bjelica who plays for the Wolves and T.J. McConnell who plays for the Sixers in terms of minutes per game. Justice Winslow plays on a good veteran Miami team and still gets 28 minutes per game. Russell needs to play because he is the future of the franchise. This team is bad and will be bad so he might as well play 30+ minutes per game.
Wednesday night against the Warriors, D’Angelo Russell played 26 minutes and didn’t play in the 4th quarter. Byron Scott said there was no value in Russell getting fourth quarter reps even in a blowout. Reps of any kind can help a rookie. There is no reason for Lou Williams to be out there in the 4th quarter, he’s a veteran.
I don’t think Kobe Bryant should retire right now but he needs to be more of a passer. He needs to shoot less and try to setup guys like Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell. Russell and Clarkson should have the ball in their hands more often. Russell should be given the chance to grow because this team will be terrible. Point guards need the ball so they can make mistakes and learn from them. As a rookie Damian Lillard was 3rd in minutes per game and now he’s the star of the Blazers. Let Russell fail, grow and get better.
Before the season started some thought the Lakers would be good because they thought Kobe would at least be decent. He’s been beyond terrible and now this team is tanking. I don’t care what anyone says this team is trying to lose. They don’t want Russell to get into a groove because he might be able to win them some games. They want Kobe to shoot them out of games early and often. The Lakers are in the bottom five in terms of points scored in the first quarter. In their last three games they have averaged 18 points in the first quarter. They are last in point differential for the first quarter at -4.9. Wednesday night against the Warriors they scored 11 points and were down 19.
This team doesn’t have the talent to make big comebacks so it makes sense for them to get down early and eventually lose a close game. Their pick is top 3 protected this year. If they don’t get a top 3 pick in the draft then the pick goes to the Sixers via Phoenix.
This 2015 draft class has been one of the best recently and this upcoming class has some talent as well including consensus No.1 prospect Ben Simmons. The Lakers don’t usually rebuild through the draft but they will this time around. I’m sure they will make a big trade and add a big free agent in due time but for now they want that top 3 pick. That pick could lead to a major trade that will quickly change the direction of this team.