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Sport LeBron can still dominate, lift up Lakers, but will that be enough?

20:41  25 november  2021
20:41  25 november  2021 Source:   nbcsports.com

Magic Johnson: I’ll probably work with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss again

  Magic Johnson: I’ll probably work with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss again Magic Johnson just keeps making his way back to the Lakers. He retired in 1991 after contract HIV. In 1996, he came back. He went just 5-11 as Lakers coach. They made him vice president. He got them fined for tampering with his tweets while holding that ceremonial role. They hired him to actually run their front office. He didn’t work very hard as team president (which he basically later admitted), reportedly bullied team employees (which he denied), abruptly resigned and accused Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka of betrayal. They still used him to recruit free agents.

  LeBron can still dominate, lift up Lakers, but will that be enough? © Provided by NBC Sports

LeBron James is a marvel.

At age 36 (soon to be 37), with more miles on his body than anyone not named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron can still take over a game and lift up a team with him like no other. He can win games nearly by himself, and he did it to Indiana Wednesday. It was the second night of a road back-to-back for the other Lakers (LeBron had Tuesday in New York off), Anthony Davis was out sick, and it was the last game of a road trip, the exact kind of game where a team can let go of the rope, take the L and get on the plane home.

LeBron scored 17 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, hit huge threes, got a couple of Pacers fans ejected, and lifted the Lakers to an overtime win in Indiana.

DeRozan on offseason: “I felt like going to the Lakers was a done deal”

  DeRozan on offseason: “I felt like going to the Lakers was a done deal” "I felt like going to the Lakers was a done deal and that we were going to figure it out. I was going to come home."What we didn’t realize was how close the deal was to getting done, at least in DeRozan’s mind. Here is what Chicago’s leading scorer told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

“That’s why he’s the GOAT, man,” the Lakers Malik Monk said.

“What LeBron did tonight was just a performance for the ages. I know these fans and how much they love their hoops here in Indianapolis. And he put on one hell of a show,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said.

We need to savor what we get to watch in LeBron — there will not be another player like him. LeBron is the first superstar in the social media age, and that means there are always trolls online — and a few talking heads on TV — ready to take him down and thrash him at the first opportunity because it gets them attention. That’s the reality of the age. But if you love the game of basketball, you need to take a step back, marvel at LeBron, and appreciate greatness when you see it.

Lakers vs. Bucks odds, line, spread: 2021 NBA picks, Nov. 17 predictions, best bets from model on 113-75 roll

  Lakers vs. Bucks odds, line, spread: 2021 NBA picks, Nov. 17 predictions, best bets from model on 113-75 roll SportsLine's computer model just revealed its NBA picks for Milwaukee Bucks vs. Los Angeles Lakers MoneylineSpreadTotal MIL -450 BET NOW -9-110BET NOW o218.5-110BET NOW LAL +350 BET NOW +9-110BET NOW u218.5-110BET NOW Why the Lakers can coverLos Angeles has plenty of star power, even without James available to play. Anthony Davis is one of the best players in the NBA, averaging 24.2 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game, and he anchors the defense of the Lakers. Russell Westbrook has an impressive pedigree as well, averaging 19.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game.

LeBron can still lift a team up and carry them for a stretch like no other.

Will that be enough for these Lakers to contend?

The Lakers needed overtime and a LeBron takeover to beat an 8-12 Pacers team, a win that lifted the Lakers to .500 on the season. There are reasons for the slow start. It’s fair to point out LeBron has missed more than half the Lakers games, that Russell Westbrook started slow but has come on in the second halves of recent seasons, that there were a lot of new faces in the locker room and this team is still gelling. Everyone can point to LeBron teams in Miami and Cleveland starting the season slow, finding their footing later, and making the Finals. There’s good reason to say, “let’s see what the Lakers look like around Christmas before we judge them.”

But these Lakers are not a good defensive team, and turning that around will take more than a healthy LeBron.

The Lakers are 22nd in the NBA in defense (using Cleaning the Glass, which filters out garbage time from its stats, but even more favorable formulas have them 19th). They are bottom 10 in halfcourt defense (their transition defense has been solid). Anthony Davis is elite defensively, versatile, and a quality rim protector, but the Lakers are short plus defenders after him. LeBron can defend for stretches, Kent Bazemore plays solid team defense, the Lakers will get Trevor Ariza back from injury at some point, but at age 36 he’s no stopper. After that, it gets really thin.

Not even LeBron James can save the hapless Lakers from themselves in humiliating loss to Celtics

  Not even LeBron James can save the hapless Lakers from themselves in humiliating loss to Celtics The Lakers just cannot get out of their own wayThree minutes later, he left the game with the Lakers trailing by 19. All told, the Lakers managed to turn a 14-point lead into a 22-point defeat. Such collapses have become commonplace this season. The Lakers blew a 26-point lead to the Thunder mere weeks ago, but LeBron's return was supposed to prevent such embarrassments. James held up his end of the bargain. He managed to score 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting despite playing through an abdominal injury that just cost him eight games.

The Lakers won the bubble championship because of their defense — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso, Danny Green were all on that team and made important defensive contributions. All are now helping either Chicago or Philadelphia. Dwight Howard and Avery Bradley were on that title team, but neither is defending now at the level they did a couple of years ago.

In a playoff matchup with the Warriors, who guards Stephen Curry? Or Klay Thompson? Or even Jordan Poole? Do the Lakers have the defenders to slow Devin Booker and Chris Paul in a playoff matchup with the Suns? Or Donovan Mitchell in Utah surrounded by shooters and a hard-rolling Rudy Gobert?

Frank Vogel is an outstanding defensive coach, but take enough chess pieces away from him and there’s no strategy he can design that will hide all the flaws.

These Lakers should improve as the season goes on, so long as James and Davis stay healthy — and with those two they are a serious playoff threat. I picked them to come out of the West before the season started.

But LeBron and Davis aren’t going to be enough come the postseason if the Lakers don’t get stops.

Lakers, LeBron James trying to avoid suspension for Isaiah Stewart altercation

  Lakers, LeBron James trying to avoid suspension for Isaiah Stewart altercation The Lakers clearly don’t want LeBron James to face a fine or suspension, and Anthony Davis and Frank Vogel tried to get ahead of that after the star’s ejection against the Pistons.Original story follows.

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LeBron can still dominate, lift up Lakers, but will that be enough? originally appeared on NBCSports.com

Who Is to Blame for Lakers' Struggles? .
Frank Vogel could be scapegoated for the Lakers failures. But make no mistake: None of it will be his fault. View the original article to see embedded media.We’re going to point the finger at Frank Vogel for the Lakers' 24th-ranked offense, their 19th-ranked defense, and their .500 record that would look a lot worse if not for one of the NBA’s softest early-season schedules. It’s easy, right? Team mired in a slump, dump the blame at the feet of the easiest guy to replace. The vultures are circling Vogel, which, when you think about it, shouldn’t be a surprise.

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