After a 116-108 victory against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have successfully clinched the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference. However, though they could now focus on the upcoming 2020 NBA playoffs, there has been some growing concern regarding the Lakers’ performance on the offensive end of the floor since the 2019-20 season restarted in Orlando. The team may hold the best regular-season record in the West Coast, but it also currently possesses the worst offensive rating (95.7) in the Orlando bubble, per NBA.com.
In a recent interview, Joe Vardon of The Athletic asked James about the Lakers’ struggle on the offensive end of the floor. After a long rest, he admitted that they still haven’t found their rhythm on offense. However, according to Vardon, James also gave a hint regarding the more serious problem that the Lakers are currently facing off the court.
“LeBron gave a weird answer about this,” Vardon wrote, as quoted by Dan Feldman of NBC Sports.
“He agreed that he and the Lakers were looking for a rhythm on offense. And then he said: ‘It’s just some things that you can’t control that’s here, that I really don’t want to talk about, that’s off the floor.'”
James didn’t give any further details regarding the issue “off the floor” that has been negatively affecting the Lakers’ performance on the court. However, with the presence of Dwight Howard, JR Smith, and Dion Waiters in Los Angeles, NBC Sports‘ Feldman said it would be hard to blame fans from speculating that there could really be an ongoing drama within the Purple and Gold.
“Without more context, it’s easy for imaginations to wander – especially about a team with Dwight Howard, Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith. The Lakers could be facing a major hurdle. Or a minor nuisance. Who knows? But the unknown is scary.”
The remaining games of the regular season may no longer have much importance for the Lakers, but if there’s really an ongoing issue on the team, they should immediately address it before the real battle begins in the postseason. Having a distraction would prevent the team from unleashing its full potential and could destroy everything that the players have worked for since the start of the season.
Aside from the rumored drama, the Lakers should also be concerned about the current health status of their best player. The hiatus may have given him enough time to rest his body, but just recently, James wasn’t able to join the Lakers in their game against the Houston Rockets due to a sore right groin.