The defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers have lost a lot of their luster over the last few months.
They dropped their playoff opener on Sunday to the Phoenix Suns. After the game, TNT analyst and former Suns superstar Charles Barkley said that the league doesn’t fear them.
"Nobody is afraid of them." 👀
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 24, 2021
For much of the season, the Lakers were the favorites in the minds of most to repeat as world champs or to at least reach the NBA Finals.
However, serious injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis destroyed the team’s chances of getting a high seed or any favorable matchups early in the playoffs.
Barkley may have a point, but the Lakers are far from done.
L.A. played very poorly in Game 1 on Sunday. It shot the ball poorly, was dominated on the boards, failed to hit free throws and was unable to push the pace.
In addition, Davis shot just 5-of-16 from the field, and James was only able to muster 18 points.
Even with all that going against them, the Lakers only lost by nine points.
One would think that if the Lakers fix even some of the problems they had on Sunday, they’ll have a good chance of prevailing in this series.