The Lakers season has not gone according to plan, as LeBron James’ first season in L.A. will end when the regular season does, snapping his streak of 13 consecutive playoff appearances.
There’s plenty of blame to go around in Los Angeles, from ownership to the front office to the coaching staff to the players, further exasperated by injuries to top players. LeBron missed 20 games with a groin injury and never seemed quite right once he did return — he sat out their most recent game in Milwaukee with groin soreness — and Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram are on the shelf until the remainder of the season.
All of those factors must be taken into consideration when evaluating the Lakers, but even if healthy their ceiling seemed lower than most any LeBron team in recent memory, and this last month and a half has pointed their many issues with roster construction. It’s no secret that it’s been bad for the Lakers of late, but since February 1 only the New York Knicks, who are firmly in the driver’s seat for the worst record in the NBA this season, have been worse.
The Lakers loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday dropped them to 4-15 since the beginning of February, with New York’s 4-17 record as the only one in the league worse than L.A.’s. The quietly-tanking Mavs are 5-14 over that stretch, followed by the 6-13 Suns, 7-13 Hornets and Timberwolves, and 7-12 Cavaliers.