When the Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs against the Phoenix Suns in the 2020-21 season, people expected LeBron James and his purple and gold army to come back strong in spectacular form the following season.
However, as the 2021-22 season began, the Lakers’ star-studded squad proved to be the second-best team, as the majority of their rivals appeared to have the solutions to their dismal and inconsistent performances.
As a result, the Los Angeles Lakers suffered their worst loss in over 1000 days at the hands of the Denver Nuggets, who were missing Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., prompting LeBron James to publicly apologize to the Los Angeles Lakers team.
For those who are unaware, the Lakers have not won a single game against a team with a higher win percentage than.500 in over a month.
Following a 37-point defeat to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night — the Lakers’ third in a row — LeBron James turned to Twitter on Sunday to apologize to Laker fans.
#LakerNation I apologize and I promise we’ll be better! 👑💜💛
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 17, 2022
The 37-year-old has been on a roll for the Lakers lately, scoring 28.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.2 blocks on 51.9 percent and 36.2 percent shooting, respectively. LeBron also has the most 30-point games in the NBA (19), but the Lakers are only 10-9 in those games.
On Wednesday last week, LeBron spoke to the reporters following the loss to the Sacramento Kings. “I only play the game for one reason, it’s to win,” he said.
“And no matter what I’ve been doing as far as this season so far, it hasn’t really resulted in as many wins as I would like. So I continue to see ways that I can be better as well. See ways of what I can do both offensively and defensively or for me from a leadership standpoint to help this team get over the hump a little bit more,” he further explained.
Lakers expected to bounce back
After the Lakers’ loss to the Nuggets, Lakers legend Magic Johnson chastised the squad for its lack of effort, urging them to play with a “sense of urgency.”
After being blown out by the Nuggets 133-96, we as @Lakers fans can accept being outplayed but we deserve more than a lack of effort and no sense of urgency. Owner @JeanieBuss, you deserve better.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 16, 2022
Point guard Russell Westbrook was asked about Johnson’s remarks after the match, but he didn’t have much to say, telling the press that Johnson isn’t around the team enough to know what’s going on behind closed doors.
The Lakers have given up an average of 123.4 points per game over the last five games. Since Anthony Davis’ MCL sprain on December 17, the Lakers have lost eight of their last thirteen games.
Their defensive rating — which was ninth in basketball when Anthony Davis broke down — has dropped to 27th over that time, and they’ve allowed the second-most points per game.
With the All-Star break approaching, the Lakers have a lot of work to do to climb the standings following a string of poor performances against the league’s top teams. They are 5-11 versus teams with a winning record of.500 or above, with their most recent victory coming against the Dallas Mavericks on December 15.