Lakers or Fakers?

The Los Angeles Lakers have been put under fire and their relevancy has been questioned time and time again. The “Fakers” have let fans down with inconsistency and weak defensive play.

Although they began the season off pretty solid, critics have attributed their early success to a weak schedule. They pulled off a few solid wins against the Warriors in early November, but couldn’t close out the month with success when they met again.

Their current record is 19–43, which is nothing to write home about. Not to mention their team leader, D’Angelo Russel, is averaging 14.8 points per game, which doesn’t come close to Kobe Bryant’s 17.6. Although he mirrors the mamba’s ability to make bad shots when he’s on, he lacks the consistency that Bryant brought to the court.

Russell’s overall play has not been compelling. When on fire, he’s shown his ability to score in spurts of greatness, but consistency is his enemy. When he’s on, he’s on, and when he’s not, he shows his inability to get others involved, which adds to the “Faker” title.

The loss of Bryant is probably the Lakers’ biggest factor giving the team this unfortunate nickname. With the attention on him, fans were able to look past issues with the team that are now heavily seen and capitalized on by opponents.

On a positive note, Tarik Blak has crushed last season’s 3 point percentage by 15%, but all other leaders have yet to beat last season’s records. Nick Young is another player who’s shown improvement within the past two seasons becoming a solid fixture in the lineup. His newfound defensive skills and increasingly affective offense might help get the Lakers back to competitive prowess.

As of now, the Lakers are riding a 6-game losing streak and can’t seem to get out of the slump. Unfortunately, I think their recent performance has earned them the title of “Fakers” and it may take a few more players to come out and perform to get this franchise back on track.