Nothing in life is guaranteed – but james lebron usually makes the playoffs.
However, this year’s playoffs will be different, after the Los Angeles Lakers were knocked out of the playoffs following a 121-110 loss at Phoenix on Tuesday, essentially ending a tumultuous season for James, Anthony Davis, l head coach Frank Vogel and the rest of the Lakers organization.
In 19 pro seasons, James has only missed the playoffs four times: the first two seasons of his career in Cleveland, the 2018-19 season — his first in Los Angeles — and now, this season.
Three of James’ four seasons in Los Angeles ended unceremoniously. He missed 27 games in his inaugural Tinseltown campaign in 2018-19, and the Lakers finished 10th in the West at 37-45.
However, the following year, the Lakers won the Bubble Championship in Orlando, Florida.
Last year things went downhill again. LA finished 42-30 and won the qualifier 7-8 to earn the seventh seed in the playoffs, before losing to Phoenix in six games in the first round.
“Our goal was to win the championship,” Davis said after the game. “We had the pieces. But injuries got in the way.”
Injuries have indeed plagued LA, and no player has been hurt more than Davis, the eight-time All-Star who played just his 39th game of the season on Tuesday, having played just 36 regular season games last night. last season.
Davis, in his 10 professional seasons, never played 82 games in a year and only played over 70 games twice.
As for James, the injury bug has hit him for the second year in a row. He played just 45 games last season, and so far this season he has 56. He’s missed five of the Lakers’ last seven games, including Tuesday, and there’s a good chance he could. shut it down for the season, given that LA only has two games. remaining.
Still, throwing the Lakers’ health issues out the window, future Hall of Fame forward Carmelo Anthony said after the game, “You can’t apologize for that. We just didn’t make it.”
Going back to James, individually he had a remarkable year.
“The Chosen One” is currently averaging 30.3 points (second in his career), 8.2 rebounds (fourth in his career) and 6.2 assists, while shooting 52.4 percent from the field.
However, those showy numbers weren’t enough to propel LA into the playoffs, and as has been the case throughout the season, many fingers will be pointing at Russell Westbrook’s play in his first season in LA.
Also a future Hall of Famer, Westbrook has had a mercurial season. For example, on Tuesday he recorded 28 points on 10-for-20 shooting, along with five rebounds and three assists. But he also had six turnovers.
Sunday against Denver, Westbrook had 27 points (on 11-for-15 shooting), 10 rebounds and seven assists with just two turnovers. But on Friday against New Orleans, “The Brodie” scored 12 points on 5-for-15 shooting, with four rebounds and five assists, but only one turnover, while fouling.
Westbrook’s 3.8 turnovers per game is sixth in the NBA among players who have played at least 60 games.
After the game, Westbrook, like Davis, lamented the Lakers injuries.
But, the plan was also for the Lakers to make the playoffs this season and fight for a title, which means any plan LA had in combining James, Davis, Westbrook and others under Vogel is presumably subject to a lengthy review of the offseason – one that will be starting much sooner than anyone in Hollywood thought.
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