Lakers’ Struggles Continue: A Closer Look into Major Weaknesses.

The Los Angeles Lakers once associated with championship aspirations have fallen into a concerning drop, puzzling fans and analysts identically. Their recent 138-122 loss to the Atlanta Hawks was more than just another defeat. it exposed deep weaknesses that could threaten their entire season. Let’s break down the key issues affecting this star-studded roster:

1. Inconsistent Offense

Overreliance on LeBron James: While “King James” is still a scoring machine, expecting him to carry the offensive load at his age is unrealistic. The supporting cast’s inconsistency results in predictable offensive schemes with lagging ball movement and a lack of creative plays. This makes them easy to defend, as demonstrated against the Hawks where James’s 28 points were insufficient to overcome the team’s overall struggles.

Three-Point Problems: Ranking 22nd in the league for three-point percentage paints a bleak picture. The lack of consistent outside threats allows defenses to sag off shooters, collapsing on James and Westbrook further limiting offensive options. This was evident against Atlanta where the Lakers shot only 8 of 33 from beyond the arc.

Turnover Epidemic: Having the fourth-highest turnover rate in the league is a recipe for disaster. Loose passes, forced entries and poor decision making give opponents easy transition points and momentum shifts. Against the Hawks, their 14 turnovers resulted in 18 points for Atlanta, highlighting the devastating consequences of their carelessness.

2. Defensive Deficits

Leaky Rim Protection: Despite Anthony Davis presence, the Lakers rank 22nd in opponent field goal percentage at the rim revealing a major weakness. Teams are taking advantage of their lack of interior presence, scoring easy baskets and creating high-percentage opportunities close to the hoop. This was evident against Atlanta where Trae Young crashed the defense with no consequence, scoring 26 points and dishing out 13 assists.

Perimeter Issues: Opponents are capitalizing on the Lakers’ slow rotations and defensive breakdowns on the perimeter. Open threes and unrestricted driving lanes are becoming a recurring theme highlighting the team’s inconsistent defensive intensity. The Hawks exploited this weakness, shooting 12-of-33 from three and taking advantage of their rushing defense for easy baskets.

3. Coaching Concerns

Questionable Rotations: Head coach Frank Vogel’s rotation decisions have come under evaluation. Young players like Talen Horton-Tucker who could add energy and hustle aren’t getting enough minutes and player like Carmelo Anthony struggle to contribute defensively. This lack of flexibility and adaptation is affecting the team’s overall performance.

Offensive Scheme Limitations: The Lakers offense frequently appears stagnant and predictable with few adjustments to counter opposing defenses. Their dependence on isolation plays and hero ball is easily detected and countered. The coaching staff must implement a more dynamic and adaptable offensive system that effectively leverages the team’s diverse skill set.

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