Just when it seemed as though the struggles of the defending NBA champions couldn’t get any worse, the Los Angeles Lakers found a way to lose to the worst team in the association on Wednesday.
Ramon Sessions scored a game-high 32 points and dished out eight assists to help the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers past the Lakers 104-99, revenge for the 55-point online sports betting embarrassment that Los Angeles smacked them around with last month. The loss was the third straight for a Lakers’ team that has looked nothing like the group that has won the past two NBA titles, and there are a multitude of reasons why.
[adinserter block=”2″] This game marked the final stop on a seven-game road trip for the Lakers, which means fatigue is an obvious factor. For a team that has had to battle through the rigors of three straight NBA Finals appearances, it hasn’t been easy for the veteran team, especially considering the nagging injuries that have made their presence felt in the starting lineup. Center Andrew Bynum is still not in peak sports book promo condition after having offseason knee surgery, while superstar Kobe Bryant didn’t participate in his team’s shootaround before a loss to the Charlotte Bobcats the other night due to nagging pains.
This also marked the Lakers’ final stop before the All Star break, time off that the Los Angeles players clearly booked early after seeming to punch out even before this game got underway. Whether or not this is a concern that will fall on head coach Phil Jackson, management, or both is yet to be seen, but the fact is that it may be a while before any legitimate help is added to this lineup.
That’s because the Denver Nuggets have reportedly re-opened pay per head discussions with the New Jersey Nets in regards to moving forward Carmelo Anthony, a potential deal that has gone back and forth all season without ever reaching the point where a move is in place. The Nets backed out of talks with Denver earlier in the year after the Nuggets’ demands were deemed too high, but sources have reported that Nets’ owner Mikhail Prokhorov has given the green light to open talks again. The two sides are now discussing a smaller version of the 13-player, three-team trade that they were close to completing last month, which pushes the Lakers even further away from acquiring the superstar forward.
[adinserter block=”1″] The Lakers are still close to the top of the Western conference NBA standings, but Jackson could review how he would like to proceed the remainder of the year with his team. Los Angeles could be better off resting some of its stars in order to prepare for the playoffs, the same way that the defending Eastern conference champion Boston Celtics did a year ago. The Lakers will use the All Star break to rest up for the second half of the season, a break the team appears desperate for.
Get your NBA swag discounted on Amazon.com now by clicking here