There is a thing in professional sports. When a successful team, one of the so-called ‘haves’, like the Lakers or Celtics, suffers some misfortune, the other teams in the league don’t feel sorry for them. The NBA has become an arms race. Its a question of who can get the most talent, the most stars.
So the Lakers were trying to improve their weak roster by adding Andre Drummond. I have to admit that I was happy for him and them. Don’t get it twisted; I’m not a Lakers fan, just a fan of good ball and Ballin’. But talk about bad luck? In his first game he loses a toenail and is done for a month. That ain’t fair man. I don’t care that the Lakers and Celtics have won half of the NBA Championships in the history of the league. That’s just bad luck.
A toenail ripped off is the kind of injury that is really a nuisance. Its not a torn ACL or Achilles, those take a full year plus to heal properly. Ask me how I know? But a toenail removed exposes tender flesh In the nail bed which rubs against the top of your shoe or sneaker, hurts like hell and is total discomfort. Its gonna take about 6 weeks for Drummond to be able to play again. Probably two months before he can play without pain. That’s messed up because I know he was looking forward to making a contribution, being in the playoffs with a contender, with a chance to win a chip. I wish him well, a speedy recovery and hope he plays the best ball of his life. The Lakers are gonna need him if they’re going to excel this year.
The Lakers have their work cut out for them. People are talking about them potentially meeting up with the Brooklyn Nets and losing in the Finals. However, the Lakers have more immediate and pressing problems at home in the western conference. Specifically the Utah Jazz and their roommates, the LA Clippers, and I’ve not even mentioned the Denver Nuggets who have gotten better talent with the addition of Aaron Gordon. The western conference is tough. Even Dallas and Portland are tough outs in a 7 game series.
It is entirely possible that the Lakers don’t get back to the Finals this year, even if they were all healthy and even with the addition of Andre Drummond. Here’s why. The Clippers are pissed about last year and have a point to prove. Kawhi Leonard form the most part decided to just shut up and play ball this year. Paul George is better. They have Serge Ibaka who it can be argued is an upgrade in the playoffs defensively over Montrez Harrell, simply because he’s taller. Plus Serge can also hit threes. Then they have Tyronn Lue who is a damn good coach. Lastly, they now have playoff and finals Rondo. Rajon Rondo is a beast, highly intelligent, a floor general, underrated and he will make a huge difference to the Clippers in the playoffs and in the western conference finals. Clippers are gonna be hard to beat. Even for the Lakers.
Even though the Lakers won the chip last year, my inner circle will confirm that I routinely complain about their lack of efficient, pure shooters. They did not pick up any shooters either in the off-season or before the trade deadline or even in the buyout period. Wesley Matthews is inconsistent and inefficient. He’s a nice guy but that experiment has not worked out so well and he’s not hitting shots the way the Lakers or even he, had hoped. Alex Caruso and Kentavious Caldwell Pope are good role players but don’t scare anybody as outside shooters. They’re shooting around 35% from three which is good but its the guys shooting it at 39% and 40% who scare other teams.
The point is that teams can load up on AD and Bron, double-teaming occasionally, because the Lakers’ outside shooting doesn’t scare them. Ultimately I may have to eat these words if the Lakers make it to the finals again and God forbid beat the Nets.