Top Concerns for the Los Angeles Lakers After the Preseason Avalanche

Published 10/11/2021, 1:21 AM EDT
Sep 28, 2021; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) answers questions during media day at the UCLA Health and Training Center in El Segundo, Calif. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers, in the 2020-21 preseason, were 4-0 after folding the Clippers and the Suns twice. And this year, they’ve toppled that result and made it 0-4 to start with. Even worse, two of these four losses ended in blowout victories for their opponents. Is this the beginning of the end for the Lake Show?


Article continues below this ad

Well, this is still too early to claim any of that. But the worries for the Lakers are certainly more than the positives as they head closer to the 2021-22 season. So what are some factors that are dragging the unit down?


Article continues below this ad

DeAndre Jordan working like a free radical for the team

In the four preseason games, DeAndre Jordan averaged 18.7 minutes and 7 points. In the Lakers’ 94-123 loss to the Suns, he could manage just 5 points and stood nowhere close to performing as good as DeAndre Jordan did for the Suns. This raises legitimate doubts on whether or not he can start as a center. 

Perhaps Anthony Davis will get to play as a starting center if things keep running the same dismal pace. As for DeAndre, his post moves are poor, and so is his offensive game that is largely dependent on lobs and rebound scoring. If the Lakers are to do any better, he’ll have to come to work.

Oct 3, 2021; Anthony Davis throws a pass over Nets forward Paul Millsap at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Westbrook still to fine-tune with the Lakers

In this preseason, Russell Westbrook has been a Grade-B player, to say the least. All those practice sessions with the Lakers do not seem to have helped the chemistry that can fit the point guard the way he’s supposed to. He’s yet to find that sweet spot with the players on the floor.

Imagine Mr. Triple Double managing just 8 points against a Booker-less Suns. In fact, he is yet to score in double figures and that’s very unlike his character. There’s a reason why Stephen A. Smith called his debut in the Lakers jersey a “garbage.”

LeBron James taking the preseason lightly

Oct 6, 2021; LeBron James with Russell Westbrook prior to the preseason game against the Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In his interview after the Warriors game, LeBron James expressed how the preseason games add zero value to his preparations. That’s probably a wrong mindset that can have a poor overall impact on the team. 

True, the Frank Vogel-led Lakers are switching to a whole new offensive system and it’ll take time for them to get going. However, losing four games in a row will only do harm to their ambitions of topping the table.


Lakers Twitter Goes Into Meltdown As Two More Stars Injured Even Before Season Starts

12 days ago


Article continues below this ad

The onset of injuries for the Lakers 

Oct 3, 2021; Talen Horton-Tucker (5) goes to his knees to pickup at the basketball and pass off as Jevon Carter defends. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Watch This Story

No Trevor Ariza for the Lakers after the small forward injured his ankle and underwent surgery. And now, they do not even have the duo of Malik Monk and Talen Horton Tucker, probably before the season starts. Plus, with the oldest roster in the league, there can potentially be many such upcoming scares that can drag them down. 


Article continues below this ad

The last season was a proof of how one or two crucial injuries can ruin the ranks and make postseason extremely difficult. So the Lakers are not off to a good start. 

Watch this story: A Sneak-Peek into the LeBron James Innovation Center



Sourabh Singh

1700 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.