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    COLUMN: Dysfunctional Lakers can't shoot straight, can't stay healthy

    Nov 1, 2022
    LeBron James Patrick Beverley
    spin zone

    CHICAGO - At age 37, in Year 20 of what is certainly a Hall-of-Fame career, LeBron James is aging gracefully.

    Just 59 days shy of his 38th birthday, James is averaging 25.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game while logging 36.2 minutes an outing.

    Unfortunately for LeBron, at 1-5 to start the 2022-23 season, the Los Angeles Lakers are getting old fast.

    Despite having the NBA's sixth highest payroll at a massive $172.3 million, the Lakers are ranked 14th in the Western Conference and an embarrassing 28th overall in the league.


      Nothing golden with the Lakers for now, just a lot of angry, disenchanted fans wearing their lonely purple hearts up their sleeves. Try going on any random Lakers fans' website and you'll know what I'm talking about.

      LeBron is currently starring in a poorly-constituted team that cannot shoot and therefore cannot compete in a league where shooting is the essence.

      Through six agonizing games, the Lakers are ranked 29th in the NBA in field goal percentage at 42.7 percent, converting only 237 of 550 attempts.

      LeBron James


      And they are 30th, dead last, in 3-point shooting at a miserable 26.6 percent clip. So far, they've missed 152 of 207 3-point attempts. And with such dreadful accuracy you have to wonder why they even shoot 34.5 times a game from beyond the arc.

      Pound that damn ball inside, Bron.

      Anthony Davis is still solid at 23.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per. He has only missed one game so far but with his well-documented history of injuries, his lasting power is always a precarious topic.

      Shooting guard Lonnie Walker IV is showing a lot of promise, doing it all through a rate of 14.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per appearance. The 6-foot-4 former Spur is just one of the very few bright spots for the Lakers.


      With a salary of $47 million this season, Russell Westbrook is the most overpaid player in the association. He is not worth his weight in pay.

      Despite being only 33 years old, his career might have already reached its expiration date.

      He was with Kevin Durant in Oklahoma, with James Harden in Houston, and with Paul George as a Thunder. All those starry, starry collaborations didn't work and judging from how his former partners have thrived, he clearly was the problem.

      This thing with LeBron ain't clicking, either.

      And Year 2 in LA has been especially hard on the eyes.

      Russell Westbrook

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      Westbrook is currently shooting just 34.3 percent from the field and a sorry 20 percent from 3.

      While he is designated as a point guard, his game appears to be directionless, coughing up 2.6 turnovers against his 4.8 assists per.

      Lakers coach Darvin Ham saw through the mayhem and correctly decided that Russell Westbrook circa 2022, belongs only on the bench.

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      The newly-acquired Patrick Beverley is still a thorn on the side of opponents, but he is also a headache for the Lakers.

      The man can't shoot to save his life - 28.6 percent from 3 and a comedic 19.6 percent from 3.

      As a former Lakers fan I miss Lonzo Ball. I miss Brandon Ingram. I miss Alex Caruso. I miss Kyle Kuzma, Heck, I even miss Swaggy P and KCP.

      Showtime's gone. It's all Hollywood blues for LeBron's Lakers.

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      PHOTO: AP
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