LeBron James and the LA Lakers are hoping to bounce back after a disappointing 2021-22 season. Although James showcased his ability to play at an elite level still, questions surrounding the team continue to loom.
The Lakers have plenty of big-name players, but their performances last year were underwhelming. Russell Westbrook saw a rapid decline in his production after being acquired last offseason. Fellow star Anthony Davis continued to struggle to stay healthy.
After a pair of interesting moves near the end of this offseason, many are wondering if the Lakers have enough to contend.
However, NBA analyst Brian Windhorst isn’t one of them. On a recent episode of “The Hoop Collective” podcast, Windhorst said he liked some of the Lakers’ additions, but that’s not how you win with James:
“I like the signing. What I don’t understand is how it fits in. Schroder is a poor outside shooter. He shot in the neighborhood of like 31% last year. Austin Reaves, who I think the whole Laker fan base likes. Another very good find by the Lakers scouting staff and Rob Pelinka. He shot 32% as a rookie from three.
“Patrick Beverley, I know that there are years in his career where he shot well from three. But last year was not one of them. And the year before he was not. He’s gone down three years in a row. And last year was his worst year.”
“Now again, maybe playing with LeBron and AD, playing out there maybe, he will rise back up. But I’m just here to tell you. I’m sorry, like, this is not how you win in the modern NBA. This is not how you win with LeBron James. You just don’t.”
LeBron James and the LA Lakers hope to bounce back in 2022-23
The LA Lakers will be more motivated than ever, especially after finishing 11th in the Western Conference last season. It was another year in which LeBron James and the team missed out on an opportunity to compete in the playoffs.
James showcased that he can still play at a high level, as he averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists. If the Lakers can get positive contributions from their bench and other starters, they have a chance to bounce back. But there’s no way for James to carry them by himself in a competitive Western Conference.