With LeBron James on the shelf with an injury, the Los Angeles Lakers simply aren’t the same team. That is, of course, quite obvious in that James is arguably the best player in the universe but, since the team’s leading man went down with a groin ailment, the Lakers are a dismal 3-6 with home losses to the Cavaliers and Knicks.
On Tuesday evening, Los Angeles will have the opportunity to right the ship in a home game against the lowly Bulls but, with the team’s struggles as the backdrop, head coach Luke Walton will reportedly make a few lineup changes. First, word broke that veteran big man Tyson Chandler would replace JaVale McGee at the outset.
Then, word quickly followed that young guard Josh Hart would be supplanted by a veteran in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Neither move is shocking on the surface, as Walton is leaning on established players in an effort to stop the bleeding. Still, decisions like this one can come under the microscope and, at least in some circles, Walton’s seat might be hot if the Lakers continue to struggle.
More than anything, the Lakers simply need LeBron James back, and his return will cure a lot of ills. With that said, Los Angeles has been brutal (especially on the offensive end) in recent days and Walton is seemingly trying to inject new life into his team with a few personnel tweaks.