The Los Angeles Lakers were one of the better teams in the Western Conference during the first half of the season. This sentiment is supported by the fact that they trailed only the Utah Jazz in the conference standings.
However, the Lakers have fallen on hard times as of late. First, Anthony Davis has been out of the mix since mid-February due to Achilles tendinosis and a calf strain. As if being without the team’s second-leading scorer wasn’t bad enough, the narrative took another turn for the worst.
Three biggest takeaways for the Los Angeles Lakers during their current three-game losing streak.
LeBron James recently suffered a high ankle sprain and is expected to be out of the rotation for the next several weeks. Needless to say, the Lakers won’t be the same team without its two superstars on the floor. With that being said, here are the biggest observations moving forward.
3. The Lakers are struggling without James and AD in the lineup
The Lakers have dropped each of their last three games, and the offense has been abysmal to put it nicely. In a 99-94 loss to the Atlanta Hawks over the weekend, the Lakers shot 42% from the field and 31% from beyond the arc. In their next outing against the Phoenix Suns, the Lakers were held to 94 points again, shooting just 41% from the field and a woeful 5-for-25 from 3-point range.
And their recent loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night, the Lakers shot around the 42% mark once again. While they did produce a 48.6% effort from the 3-point line, it wasn’t enough to prevent them from losing that contest by a 128-111 margin. As evidenced by this recent stretch of games, the Lakers are having a difficult time scoring points, and that trend could continue for some time.
2. Will the Lakers be active at the trade deadline?
Shortly after Davis was on the shelf, one of the names linked to the Lakers was Cleveland Cavaliers big man Andre Drummond. Drummond has career averages of 14.6 points and 13.8 rebounds per contest. And in 25 games this season, he is averaging 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds per contest. While Drummond won’t provide the Lakers with the same defensive presence as Davis, his production makes him a viable option for a team looking to add depth to its frontcourt. The caveat here is that the Lakers’ interest is predicated on whether the Cavaliers buyout Drummond’s contract.
The Lakers linked to trading for… Kyle Lowry? (via @wojespn)
— ESPN Los Angeles (@ESPNLosAngeles) March 24, 2021
Lowry is averaging 17.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 7.5 assists in 37 games for Toronto this season. He is also shooting 39.1% from 3-point range. Lowry is one of the best players that could be potentially available ahead of the trade deadline. Given that fact, it is being reported that he will want an extension included (a two-year deal worth at least $25 million per year) to any team that he’s traded to. The Lakers could certainly use a capable scorer on the court right now. The question is what are they willing to pay to add some scoring punch to their struggling offense?
1. Can the Lakers still make it to the playoffs?
On the surface, this question may sound a bit premature. However, the Lakers are just 5-5 in their last 10 games. Additionally, they have dropped two spots in the standings during their current three-game skid.
For argument’s sake, let’s say that James is out five or six weeks. If that holds true, that will take the Lakers into May, which is a 21-game stretch. Over half of those opponents are in the top eight playoff spots in the conference. With that said, the Lakers could have a difficult time staying afloat. This is especially true should they opt not to make any moves before today’s trade deadline.
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