5 storylines to search for as Lakers attempt a playoff thrust down the stretch

In this article are five storylines for the Lakers just after the All-Star split:

The partnership between LeBron James, Rob Pelinka and the Lakers is teetering

How they all mend their concerns could identify what training course the Lakers consider write-up-All-Star split in a time which is now been way off system.

As vice president of basketball functions and basic manager of the Lakers, Pelinka experienced to cringe when he read James heap praise on Oklahoma City typical supervisor Sam Presti throughout his All-Star information conference Saturday, declaring, “The MVP more than there Sam Presti. He’s the MVP.”

With Pelinka not making any moves by the NBA’s tradeline, the Lakers held the exact group. Pellinka then explained to reporters that he had consulted with James and Anthony Davis and that they had been Okay with the Lakers’ inaction.

“Throughout this approach, we had diverse things we looked at and, like I have done in the past, had discussions with LeBron and Anthony about it and I would say there is alignment below,” Pelinka mentioned on Zoom. “And that’s all that issues.”

Reports quickly surfaced that James and Davis had been not knowledgeable of what Pelinka was doing.

That led to James building his remarks.

The Lakers will be back at observe Thursday in preparation for the relaxation of the season that has previously taken yet a further switch with James, Pelinka and the Lakers.

Can James stay on his torrid rate?

Can he continue to have the Lakers like he has in the initial 58 game titles?

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James is enjoying at a significant stage, wanting nothing like a 37-year-previous who is actively playing in his 19th time.

He is averaging 29.1 points for each activity, third-finest in the NBA and his optimum since the 2009-10 period, when he averaged 29.7 details with Cleveland.

He is shooting 52.2% from the field, 35.3% from three-position array and is averaging 7.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists a activity.

He has scored 25 factors or far more in 23 consecutive game titles.

So, there seems to be no slowing down.

But James is averaging 36.8 minutes for each activity, a weighty load even for him.

The Lakers want all James can give them just to gain game titles.

3. The health of Anthony Davis always would seem to be a concern

Lakers forward Anthony Davis shoots as Utah Jazz heart Rudy Gobert defends for the duration of the first half final 7 days at Arena.

(Mark J. Terrill / Related Press)

He suffered a ideal mid-foot sprain for the duration of their final video game against the Utah Jazz on Feb. 16. The subsequent working day the Lakers explained Davis would be re-evaluated in “approximately 4 months.”

So, the ideal-case circumstance would have Davis returning about March 18 at Toronto.

That would give Davis about 3 months to get all set for the relaxation of the year.

But how very long would it take for Davis to get into “basketball shape” and to get his rhythm back again? And what if he will come again afterwards than 4 weeks?

For the Lakers to have any prospects of getting better immediately after the All-Star break, they’ll need to have Davis back at some position.

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4. The Lakers and Russell Westbrook will need to find strategies to make the point guard better

He’s averaging just 18.3 factors for each recreation, his lowest considering that his second year in the NBA. Never regarded for his a few-level shooting, Westbrook is earning only 29.9% of his pictures driving the line, and he’s shooting 43.7% all round. His turnovers (4.1 for each game) remain a trouble, but he is averaging 7.8 rebounds and 7.5 helps.

But in his past two game titles, which came immediately after the trade deadline, Westbrook was far better, averaging 18 points and shooting 50%.

Westbrook operated a minor a lot more in the article, something the Lakers experience might operate for them likely forward.

The Lakers are most likely headed toward the play-in match

The Lakers (27-31 and ninth in the Western Convention) are 6 online games behind the Denver Nuggets, who maintain the sixth spot, which assures a playoff berth.

Can the Lakers, with 24 online games remaining, catch the Nuggets?

It appears to be uncertain. In addition, the Lakers would also have to move the Minnesota Timberwolves (seventh spot) and Clippers (eighth).

The Lakers have talked about heading on a winning streak immediately after the split. The longest of the year has been 4 games. But they have missing 7 of their final 10 games.

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