Why LeBron James, LA might need to hit the panic button

The Los Angeles Lakers have not gotten off to the start of the season they’d been hoping for. At 16-17, the Lakers sit in sixth place in the Western Conference, but things could stand to get worse in LA before they get better. According to SportsCenter, the Lakers have had the single easiest schedule thus far into the NBA season based on opponents’ winning percentage. To make matters worse, the Lakers are set to have the toughest schedule in the NBA after Christmas.

The Lakers will face the Brooklyn Nets on Christmas Day, where a win could see the team climb back to .500 on the year. Every win will be crucial for LA from here on out considering the difficult schedule they face in the second half of the season. The Lakers are due for three matchups with the Golden State Warriors (26-6), three matchups with the Utah Jazz (22-9), and two games against the Phoenix Suns (26-5).

The team’s inability to figure out their glaring issues in the first half of the year, particularly on defense, could come back to bite them in a bitter way in 2022. While they are still firmly in the playoff race in the West, the Lakers’ weak first-half schedule should have them far better positioned than they currently are.

The Lakers will start 2022 with Anthony Davis on the shelf, meaning LeBron and Russell Westbrook will have to shoulder even more of the load if the team wants to remain competitive. If any Laker fans are starting to panic right about now, we’d have a difficult time blaming them.

Hawks, Trae Young

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