Can The Lakers Make The Playoffs With Westbrook

Can The Lakers Make The Playoffs With Westbrook
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There are many questions going into the season about whether the Los Angeles Lakers can make the playoffs with Russell Westbrook still on the roster. With training camp set to start in a month, the Los Angeles Lakers are still looking for a trade partner for Russell Westbrook. Many thought the Lakers acquiring Patrick Beverly signaled the end of Westbrook’s tenure with the team. However, reports have stated that while the Lakers are seeking a trade, they are fine if a deal cannot be reached and Westbrook remains on the roster. The question remains whether or not the Lakers can make the playoffs with Westbrook on the roster.

As has been the case with the NBA season for the past few years, the league is expected to feature a competitive playoff race. Despite winning the championship in 2020, injuries and roster shake-ups have plagued the Lakers. Many have critiqued Westbrook’s fit with the team despite the LA native only playing 21 games alongside Lebron James and Anthony Davis. There has been optimism that new coach Darvin Ham can bring out the best in Westbrook, specifically on the defensive end of the floor.

ESPN’s prediction poll has the Los Angeles Lakers finishing 9th in the conference with a record of 42-40. However, this poll was created before the bombshell trade that sent Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Jazz were a perennial playoff team, and the loss of both Rudy Gobert and Mitchell will surely shake up the standings in the Western Conference. The Lakers’ ability to make the postseason will come down to injuries, chemistry, and consistent outside shooting.


Getty Images

Coming off of a 33-win season, keeping players on the floor will be crucial for the storied franchise. Last season, Los Angeles went through 41 different iterations of its starting lineup due to injury. If the Lakers want any chance of making the playoffs this season, they will have to find a way to stay healthy. Lakers big-man Anthony Davis missed 42 games while Lebron James missed 26. Guard Kendrick Nunn did not see a single minute of the season with a bone bruise in his right knee. Nunn was figured to play a significant role with the Lakers, coming off a successful run with the Miami Heat. With all of their players seemingly healthy going into training camp, the injury bug will hopefully be a thing of the past for the Lakers.


Los Angeles Lakers
(AP Photo/Derick Hingle)

The Lakers 2020 championship team was noted for its team chemistry. Players seemed to get along well on and off the court. The chemistry was bolstered by Lebron hosting a mini-camp in Las Vegas prior to the start of the season. The close-knit group spent plenty of time together practicing and working on team-building exercises. Evidently, this group meshed exceptionally well and relied on each other on the court. With so much turnover since that championship season, it will be interesting to see how well this group comes together this season.

Lebron is set to host his mini-camp again this year, with San Diego likely being the destination. It will likely give long-tome rivals Beverly and Westbrook a chance to bond before the start of the official camp. The question of can the Lakers make the playoffs with Westbrook will depend heavily on his ability to mesh with Beverly in the backcourt. The current roster mixes young players and veterans, which could work nicely to balance the team chemistry under Darvin Ham.

Consistent Outside Shooting

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers have struggled in over the past few years with their outside shooting. The team shot 34.7% from three-point range last season, which was good for 21st in the league. They have tried to address this problem by signing players like Wesley Matthews, Carmelo Anthony, Wayne Ellington, and Malik Monk, amongst others, to address the issue but to no avail. The current off-season acquisitions have not addressed the need. The addition of Patrick Beverly helps, but the best shooter on the roster is likely two-way signee Cole Swider from Syracuse, who shot 39% from three-point range in college. The Lakers have let plenty of shooters walk in recent years, and their lack has been well documented. It will be interesting to see if the addition of Beverly will improve the team’s outside shooting this year.

At the end of last season, Lebron vowed on Twitter that he would never miss the playoffs again.

Time will tell if he is able to follow through on that promise. The Lakers have had a rough couple of seasons, but it will be hard to count them out of the postseason even with Westbrook on the roster if they can keep their three stars on the floor.

Follow us on YouTube!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Check out our new shop items!

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

Corey Kluber
The Boston Red Sox (0-1) fell in their home opener against the […]
Jalen Hood Schifino Decalres
Jalen Hood-Schifino, freshman starting guard for the Indiana Hoosiers, has declared for […]
Los Blancos welcome Real Valladolid to the Bernabeu on Sunday. With the […]
International Break
Some people despise the international break while some actually like seeing players […]
Canelo Alvarez Potential Opponents
As one of the most dominant boxers in the world today, there […]

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

%d bloggers like this: