The Los Angeles Lakers have been a very interesting team this season. They have a young roster with an average of around 27 years old, a first-year full-time head coach and a team that started out fast but has since suffered the worst loss in franchise history.
This is all occurring in a span of a few short months, and with around half the NBA season remaining, though it is still going to take some time for this young Lakers team to get used to not only being a team on the court, but they are also learning how the NBA style of game works, with some players on the Lakers roster not even old enough to legally purchase alcohol.
Though head coach Luke Walton said, his team doesn’t need “tough love,” maybe the Lakers do need a bit of a reality check coming off a 122-73 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 22, the worst loss in the Lakers’ long and storied history. Maybe the player who needs to be contacted is Kobe Bryant, as the future Hall of Famer said he would like to have a role with the Lakers in some way.
Kobe Bryant offers to help Lakers, but Luke Walton says team doesn’t need ‘tough love’ https://t.co/7bNAg8ucx7
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) January 25, 2017
William Lou of The Score.com quoted Bryant from a recent interview regarding how he can help the Lakers this NBA season.
“I’m always around behind the scenes for Jeanie, Jimmy, and the entire Buss family if they need assistance or if it be to reach out or call for advice and things of that nature…”
The Lakers enter Wednesday with a 16-32 record, 14th in the Western Conference. The playoffs are just a dream, as it looks like the Lakers will miss the playoffs in the West for a fourth straight season. D’Angelo Russell is still injured, and with the wheels falling off, it is now apparent the Lakers must start building for next year with a detailed look at their current roster.
Not having Russell’s 14.3 points per game in recent games has hurt the Lakers tremendously. Their leading scorer Lou Williams has played in 48 games and has had a fine season for the Lakers, averaging nearly 18 ppg for the Lakers.
Yes, the Lakers will win more games this last season, and the young players on the roster are gaining valuable experience, but their depth isn’t where it needs to be, and maybe this offseason, or at the NBA trade deadline, the Lakers need to fix some of the decisions they made during this past offseason.
One of the decisions that needs a re-do for the Lakers is the signing of Timofey Mozgov. He doesn’t seem like a good fit with this roster and hasn’t played up to his contract with his 7.7 ppg and 4.9 rebounds per game through 47 games. A center in the NBA should average more than nearly 8 ppg and most definitely should average more than 4.9 rpg.
The Lakers might be able to trade Mozgov to a contender, as he did play for the NBA Champions of last season in the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Lakers look to bounce back on the road with consecutive trips to Portland and Utah. https://t.co/ukjgavyrU1
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 24, 2017
Do I believe the Lakers need to get rid of all of their young players? Not at all, but they’ll eventually need to bring in a veteran or two who not only can bring experience to their inexperienced roster but veterans who know how to win and who can be leaders on and off the court.
Though Walton doesn’t believe his Lakers team need the “tough love” from Bryant just yet, eventually the Lakers are going to need a reality check and find a way to start taking not just another step in improving from last season. They are going to need to find a way to build themselves to the next level, a level that has them qualifying for the Western Conference playoffs sooner rather than later.
[Featured Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]