With the #LOLakers Dead, What’s LeBron Got Left?

LeBron James is, at this point, playing purely for his legacy, putting any finishing touches he can on his GOAT argument before age catches up with him for good and sends him into retirement. Bron’s got four rings, including a ring in Cleveland in 2016 that came for his hometown against a team that went 73-9 in the regular season and had a 3-1 lead in the Finals. He’s got a “career triple double”, having notched his 10,000th rebound and 10,000th assist during this 2021-22 season to put the finishing touches on an accomplishment that no other player in NBA …

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The Lakers’ Russell Westbrook Problem

For the past few seasons, it has become an annual event at some point around the All-Star break to point out the problems that Russell Westbrook has caused for his teams. In 2019, the question was whether Westbrook could finally break out of his “the best you’re going to get out of this guy is 48 wins and a first-round playoff exit” problem in the absence of Kevin Durant. The Oklahoma City Thunder stood at 26-18 on Jan. 17 after a loss to the Lakers, and while they would win 11 of their next 12 contests to go to 37-19, …

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The Los Angeles Lakers’ Best Season: 1972

The Los Angeles Lakers have had several franchise high points. In the 1950s, when they still played in Minneapolis, they were the league’s first true powerhouse, winning the title the year they joined the BAA in 1949, then going on to win four more championships in the next five years. They missed the playoffs only once in 12 seasons in Minneapolis, and the very next year—1960—they ended up in the NBA Finals, losing to Boston and starting for real that historic rivalry. In the 1980s, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and a cast of characters rotating through the rest of their …

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The NBA Play-In Games Were Pointless And Dumb

LeBron James, talking about the play-in tournament that his Lakers were unable to avoid as a result of tiebreakers in their three-way tie for fifth place in the Western Conference, said “whoever thought of it should be fired.” For the Lakers, this made sense, because in any normal season where the top eight teams simply get into the playoffs, James and Anthony Davis could’ve been shut down for the regular season, and if the Lakers finished seventh, so what? They’d still be in the playoffs with no concern. As it stood, they had to make a stretch run to stay …

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A Wild 2021 Finish Brews in the Western Conference

Through games of May 2, the Western Conference features a three-way tie at 36-28 for the 5 seed with just eight games to go in the regular season. And as alluded to in last week’s “6 is the New 8”, this is a fantastic year to have such a three-car pileup on the NBA standings highway. Most of the time, when you get a tie across a bunch of mid-seeds, it’s just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as all that hangs in the balance is who gets to host whom in what ultimately meaningless Game 1 of a …

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16 Games Without LeBron, What’s Up with the Lakers?

When LeBron James went down with an ankle injury that could cause him to miss the rest of the regular season as the Los Angeles Lakers save him for the playoffs, and with Anthony Davis still out and having not played since February 14, Lakers fans had every reason to panic despite standing at 28-13 at the time of LeBron’s injury. Since then, including the loss to the Atlanta Hawks that was the end result of the game in which LeBron got hurt, the Lakers are 7-9, having played .500 ball over their last 10 games in which every loss …

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Time to Freak Out, Lakers Fans

When the Los Angeles Lakers lost Anthony Davis to an injury earlier this season, there was no cause to panic. They could bring him back fairly slowly, saving his health for the playoffs, because as long as they had LeBron James and a healthy Dennis Schroder, there was enough firepower to tread water in a crowded Western Conference. But now, with LeBron out for the next 3-5 weeks with an ankle injury and questions swirling about the 36-year-old’s durability in his 18th year in the league? Questions largely complicated by the fact of LeBron’s odometer showing 1,566 regular-season and playoff …

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The Greatest Dynasties in NBA History

In celebration of their new sponsorship deal with the NBA, Mondelez International, makers of delicious junk food, decided to launch a line of Oreo cookies celebrating the NBA’s great dynasties. Featured on the cookies will be the Los Angeles Lakers, the Boston Celtics, the Chicago Bulls, the Golden State Warriors, and…the Miami Heat. Excuse me, what? A Miami team that won just two titles in four years while being broadly regarded as responsible for the only two of LeBron James‘ six Finals losses that could be legitimately said to tarnish the legacy of a guy who otherwise has a claim …

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Examining the Lakers Without Anthony Davis

The Los Angeles Lakers found themselves without the services of their second and, arguably, third-best players in Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder during a stretch in which they lost four in a row and five out of six games to drop from 21-6 and nipping at the heels of the red-hot Utah Jazz (who are an astonishing 27-7 and look every bit like a Finals team) to 22-11 and at risk of falling below the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers to drop all the way into fourth place and a second-round matchup with that Jazz team. The moral of …

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LeBron James’ Amazing Playoff Statistical Legacy

In March of 2019, I took a look at LeBron James‘ amazing career statistically. I talked about the Grand Triple-Double (10,000 each of points, assists, and rebounds; based on his career averages, LeBron will reach that mark sometime during the 2021-22 season if he stays healthy.) I talked about his chances of passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the all-time scoring list—he has 4,147 points to go to get to 38,388, and at his career scoring rate of 27.1 points per game, he’ll do that in two seasons, maybe early in a third if the NBA truncates the 2020-21 season to 60 …

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