Will The LA Lakers Make A Comeback This Season?

Lebron James
via Erik Drost / CC-BY-2.0

As one of the most successful teams ever to compete in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers hold the record for the most championship wins, shared with the Boston Celtics. Although they were originally the Minneapolis Lakers, the team relocated to the West Coast in 1960 and has gone from strength to strength ever since.

The team has a long-term rivalry with the Boston Celtics, and the two teams have played in the NBA finals twelve times since their initial face-off in 1959. Among the most notable Lakers players is Magic Johnson, who some still believe was the best point guard in the history of the game.

There is also a strong sense of competition between the Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers, which is enhanced by the fact that the two teams hail from the same city and are the only two teams in the NBA that share an arena.

As seventeen-time winners of the NBA championships, the Lakers have made it through to the finals a further fifteen times. Some of basketball’s most prominent players have been Lakers, including Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant who dominated the game in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The James-Davis Era

As a team that has had more than its fair share of superstars, the Lakers continued that theme when they signed LeBron James in 2018. His multi-million dollar contract proved a good investment when he helped the team win several matches in his first few months on the team and those betting online followed his career closely.

The 2019 addition of Anthony Davis, who joined the Lakers from the New Orleans Pelicans, saw the team go from strength to strength including a spot in the playoffs for the first time in six years. They were also ranked as top seed for the first time since 2010, going through to the finals and defeating the Miami Heat to become the 2020 NBA Champions.

LeBron James was named the Most Valuable Player, an award he had already earned three times during his career. The 2021 off-season saw a number of personnel changes, with Kyle Kuzma being traded away, Alex Caruso signing with the Chicago Bulls, and Jared Dudley retiring.

Some notable players also joined at this time, including Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, and some former players returned to the team including Trevor Ariza, Dwight Howard, and Rajon Rondo.

The 2022 season so far

One of the issues that the current team seems to be facing, and the one that is standing in the way of potential success, is their shooting record in this year’s competition. The team’s inability to sink any three-pointers between them is causing significant problems when it comes to getting their scores high enough to be in the running for a win.

Russell Westbrook had six opportunities to land a three-pointer in their latest game against the Clippers and he missed all of them. This kind of form has contributed to the team’s current record of only nineteen shots of a possible eighty-five finding their mark. Their loss to the Golden State Warriors was largely due to this issue and the continued problems against the Clippers suggest that it has not been properly addressed.

With so many games relying on deep shots for the majority of scoring, this issue is likely to be one that could make or break the team in their quest for this season’s championship. Without good shooters, the skills of players such as LeBron James are being squandered, not least because their strategy doesn’t seem to be taking the lack of shooting prowess into account.

Anthony Davis and LeBron James may be getting the team into position, but without a plan to fix their shooting problems, the team is unlikely to maximize the opportunities and turn them into good results. The players’ skill is keeping them in the running, but their potential isn’t being realized out on the court.

But James is optimistic, reporting that he is enjoying the team’s current playing style and working together well when they’re turning the ball around with their defensive play. Westbrook might not be sinking the three-pointers, but he is making strong steals and defending effectively enough to justify his place on the team, according to James at least.

Fans are concerned that the roster needs some examination to maximize the skills of the Lakers’ most capable players. The team is still confident, not least because their current three-point record can only really improve, and they are eager to make up for the mistakes that have been made so far. LeBron James’s leadership points to positivity as he maintains his faith that his team has everything it needs to maintain its position in the championship. Coach Darvin Ham believes that they can improve their percentages, so fans will have to wait and se