The Los Angeles Lakers are last in offensive rating, true shooting percentage, and effective field goal percentage since the season restarted. With an Offensive Rating of 95.7, that puts them 6.7 points behind the Wizards; A team that has already been eliminated.
Now, LeBron James didn’t play in their last game against the Rockets, so some might say that’s why their ratings are super low.
Pretty weak argument, let’s dive below the surface of this argument.
These are the points scored by LeBron in his last four games:
- 16 pts against the Clippers,
- 20 pts against the Raptors,
- 22 pts against the Jazz
- 19 pts against the Thunder.
He is averaging 19.3 points per game so far in The Bubble. James is also only averaging 6.3 assists. And it’s not like he’s playing 20 minutes a game. Except for the Thunder game, he has played 34 or 35 minutes per game. And against the Thunder, he played 30 minutes, most likely because they were losing by 20 points.
‘King’ James is only shooting 27.3% from three and 42% from the field, which are atrocious shooting splits for anyone. His season averages so far are 34.9 minutes per game, 25.4 points per game, 10.4 assists per game, 49.6% FG, and 34.9% 3PT.
Before the suspension and restart, the Lakers were putting up roughly 114 points per game as a team. Over their past 5 games, they are averaging 98.8 points per game. Excluding the game LeBron sat out, they are averaging 99.3 points per game.
Now, they have played some good defenses, namely the Raptors and Thunder. But Toronto usually gives up 106 ppg, and the Lakers only managed 92 points. OKC gives up 108 ppg on average, yet the Lakers only scored 86 points when they played. Also, they only made two three pointers against the Rockets.
Another argument someone might use is that LeBron isn’t going to be sitting out any playoff games. Yep, that’s most likely true because his stamina is absurd. But I doubt LeBron’s going to be playing all 48 minutes of every game, and the game against Houston showed us how atrocious the Lakers are offensively without LeBron. Now imagine what it’s going to look like if both LeBron and Anthony Davis are sitting.
Obviously they haven’t just fallen off a cliff that keeps going down, but they are certainly hanging on the edge. These games never meant much to the Lakers, that is true, but practice makes permanent. And at the rate they’re going, the Lakers are going to be permanently ineffective offensively.
Photo: Spectrum News 1 / Video