The LA Lakers ended their inglorious 67th franchise 2014-15 NBA Season with a record of 25.6%, of the 82 games they played this season, which translates to just 21 wins. With an overall 5th position in the Pacific Division , and 14th in the Western Conference,this is recorded as the worst season in the franchise history. Previous coach Mike D’Antoni resigned late April(2014) following two miserable seasons leaving Lakers without a head coach. Earlier off-season saw important players like Pau Gasol and Jodie Meeks drawn away by Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons respectively leaving big holes to be filled. However some positive changes included the acquisition of point guard Jeremy Lin and power forward Carlos Boozer. The Head coach was signed in as ‘Lakers Showtime Player’ and the former coach of the year Bryon Scott as head coach.
The season started with 1-9, a franchise low with Rookie Julius Randle injuring himself in the first game itself and was expected to miss the entire season. Statistics agree on the fact that lack of focus and injuries resulted in a disastrous season. Despite having a good scorer, they lacked good defence. An individual accomplishment and something to rejoice for the fans was Kobe Bryant breaking the record of Michael Jordan in the number of points scored in the NBA history securing a 3rd spot in the list. Kobe was fantastic in offense but revolved the ball less to his new and inexperienced teammates. The trio of Kobe, Boozer, Lin could have brought it for the Lakers, but unfortunately failed to do so.
Now, ahead of the 2015-16 NBA ,some pre preparation work is required , not only in the style of playing but also in lines of team improvements. Talented prospects such as Duke’s Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow, Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein and Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell could significantly change the Lakers’ fate, if all goes well.
The Lakers have the fourth-worst record in the NBA, with an 82.8% chance of getting successfully through May’s draft lottery.The concern for the Lakers prior to free agency is Jordan Hills $9 million team option. If the Lakers land the fourth pick in the draft, but let Hill go, they’ll have approximately $24 million. Keeping Hill, drops to about $15 million, which may not be enough to land a top free agent in the $18-million to $22-million range.
The only Lakers with fully guaranteed contracts next season are Kobe Bryant, Nick Young, Julius Randle and Ryan Kelly. The team also has four players on non-guaranteed minimum contracts: Jordan Clarkson, Tarik Black, Robert Sacre and Jabari Brown.
We all will have to wait and watch the Coach and the Lakers put up some extra work in the practice session and save Lakers from any further humiliation.
Edited by Aashna Bakshi