UNITED STATES—By now, many are used to seeing the Los Angeles Lakers nowhere near the playoffs. However, this season was supposed to be different. The best player on the planet, LeBron James, signed with the team at the beginning of the season so expectations were reasonably high.
With the Lakers’ fate already sealed a little more than two weeks before the playoffs, rumors are now swirling about the future of their coach, Luke Walton. Although he fully expects to be back in the driver’s seat next season, anything can happen.
So if you boldly predicted another NBA playoffs without the Lakers, you can pat yourself on the back. Just like many others who visit www.casinowhizz.com to confidently wager their money on the chances of winning big, you probably won quite a handsome sum for this prediction. Then again, it’s a prediction most would make given the roster put around LeBron.
However, this is LeBron James. He has – for many times in his career – helped lift his team towards a win. He did this while he was with the Cavaliers. He did this with the Heat (although he had some help from much more capable teammates). And he did this again when he returned to the Cavs after a few short years in Miami.
Unfortunately, his heroics in Los Angeles wasn’t enough to bring the team to within close distance of the West’s eighth spot.
Calling on Tyronn Lue?
Many remember Tyronn Lue as the guy Allen Iverson stepped over. Suffice to say, the man has outgrown that image and transformed into a credible coach with an even more incredible record: guiding the Cavaliers to a championship the same season he was appointed head coach. Not only that, he led the same team back to the finals a year later. Both times facing the same enemy: the Golden State Warriors.
The start to the Cav’s 2018-2019 season wasn’t ideal. It didn’t take long for him to be fired from the job, just two seasons after helping a franchise see glory it never experience for a very long time.
Now, there are whispers that he is in talks to take over coaching duties from Luke Walton at the start of the next season. Since both men are friends, Lue reached out first to assure the other that he has not been approached by the Lakers management over the coaching job.
Considering Lue for the position of Lakers coach makes sense since he once played for the franchise and has a track record of success. The Lakers are a team with many talented young players and if Lue is being considered, it means that there is a belief in his capabilities to turn things around.
Luke Walton has been with the Lakers since 2016. He joined after a successful stint as an assistant coach for the Warriors, who he guided to an impressive record during the absence of head coach Steve Kerr.
While the Lakers have been improving since Walton’s arrival, this is still the Lakers. They want to win no matter who is on the roster. While serviceable players have been added to the team to help out LeBron James, this season just wasn’t their time to get back to the playoffs.
Last season, the Minnesota Timberwolves saw a 12-year playoff drought come to and end. This year, there’s a slim chance they will make it for the second year in a row.
Will there be a new face guiding the Lakers to brilliance next season? That remains to be seen and everything else heard is just speculation.
The off-season is a time for thinking and regrouping. While there are questions regarding the future of Luke Walton as head coach, it would be a major disappointment if they still miss out on the playoffs next season. This season’s miss marks the first time since 2005 that LeBron James hasn’t been in the playoffs. Surely, the team will do everything they can to make sure a repeat isn’t going to happen?
While the coaching question still doesn’t have definite answers, the roster will most likely change. The Lakers have a talented young core and LeBron James. Making necessary changes to the rest can give them a chance of making it to the top eight of the Western Conference.
Los Angeles may now be used to seeing the Lakers out of the playoffs but the situation may be different next season. Lessons have been learned and hopefully that shows on the court come the new season.