Getty Images
Getty Images

Ok, so the Los Angeles Lakers are bad… But not as bad as you think.

The Los Angeles Lakers are a franchise that is not used to losing. So you can imagine how tough the last few seasons have been for the organization and its loyal fan base. The win total over the last two seasons combined (48 wins) would barely secure them the very last playoff spot in last year’s brutal Western Conference playoff standings.

The reward for two disastrous seasons was the number seven pick in 2014 (Julius Randle), and the number two pick (D’Angelo Russell) in this year’s draft.

The Lakers summer league team features Randle/ Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and potentially four other players who could make key contributions in this upcoming season. But so far they are 1-3 with three times as many turnovers as they have had assists, all the while playing against mostly bench players and guys who won’t even be on an NBA roster come November 1st. It is a harsh reality.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Russell has looked overwhelmed and Randle has looked rusty and over eager. These are some of the young talented guys that the organization was trying to sell to the LaMarcus Aldridge’s and Deandre Jordan’s of the world and the same young guys that are supposed to help ease Kobe Bryant’s load. The signings of Lou Williams and Brandon Bass, and the trade for Roy Hibbert were written off as mere bandaids placed on the amputated limb on free agency rejection. It’s easy to understand why this Lakers team is projected to finish at the bottom of the Western Conference yet again.

But before you look  at your Jim Buss time ticker to track how much time he has left on his sister’s, Jeanie Busses watch, so to speak,  you have to look at all the facts.

The Lakers, whose record of 21-61 was the franchise’s worst ever, is horrible in all accounts but its more interesting when you look deeper at the numbers. The Lakers have led the league in games missed due to injury over the last two seasons, having 319 games missed two seasons ago and a whopping 339 games missed last season. The organization have had very bad luck in this area.

On offense, the inconsistent play of Jeremy Lin and Wesley Johnson was almost unbearable to watch. The Lakers were third in the league in 2-point field goal attempts per game but only ranked 27th in makes. They just could not make shots.

Of the 61 losses, 26 of those were by six points or less. Ten of their losses was by nine points or less. In a good portion of those games, the Lakers were able to keep it close until the fourth quarter. They just couldn’t close the games out.

USA TODAY Sports

Coach Byron Scott was somehow able to keep the team competitive through all the injuries and different starting line ups despite the fact that the squad had only one true center on the roster, Robert Sacre. Hibbert should, in theory, help make this team better defensively where they ranked near the bottom in most defensive categories.

In the 2014 NBA Draft, the Lakers selected Randle, with hopes that he would help get the franchise moving in the right direction. He only played fourteen minutes last season before going down with a leg injury. The team would, without question, have been better with him. So you have to factor in that they were not as bad as it seems. Getting Randle back this season is almost like the team got two top ten draft picks this year. His game, and Russell’s ability to shoot from mid-range, will drastically improve the teams scoring opportunities.

Assuming Kobe Bryant comes back healthy and is able to contribute, and if the team can play better defense, they stand to be drastically improved from last year.  Russell and Clarkson plan to workout with Steve Nash after summer league and stand to only get better. Bass, and the drafting of Larry Nance Jr., Robert Upshaw, and Anthony Brown, give the team high energy players, something they were missing last year.

If the team can manage to stay relatively healthy this season, they have a chance to shock a few people. The key word with the core of young guys is patience. There will be ups and downs but the team will get better as they enter training camp and learn Coach Scott’s system. And although the team is not projected to earn a playoff spot, it should be fun to watch as they grow and develop. The future does actually look bright in L.A. It just might take a little time.

Tayrance Allen covers the Los Angeles Lakers/ NBA for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter (@Twigganomics) and FaceBook/Instagram (@TwiggNATION)

 

https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/one-play-that-shows-perfectly-just-how-bad-the-lakers-will-be-this-season.jpg?fit=1024%2C512&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/one-play-that-shows-perfectly-just-how-bad-the-lakers-will-be-this-season.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Tayrance AllenBasketballLA LakersNBAPacific DivisionRecent Posts#Kobe Bryant,D'Angelo Russell,Julius Randle,L.A. Lakers,LA Lakers,Laker news,Laker rumors,Lakers,lakers roster,losangeles lakers,Roy HibbertOk, so the Los Angeles Lakers are bad… But not as bad as you think. The Los Angeles Lakers are a franchise that is not used to losing. So you can imagine how tough the last few seasons have been for the organization and its loyal fan base. The win...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?