Sports Illustrated: The difference in the Lakers lineup, even James in his peak period can’t move
Recently, “Sports Illustrated” NBA reporter Howard Beck released a cover report, criticizing the inaction of the Lakers management in terms of lineup construction, and the Lakers LeBron James became the cover character. An excerpt is as follows:
Regarding the severity of the loss of the Lakers’ auxiliary lineup, there are three main points:
Nine players in the Lakers’ rotation last season were not in the NBA at the start of the season opener. (Stanley Johnson only signed with the Spurs last week.)
The core lineup of the Lakers this season includes 6 players who were only nominal players or marginal players in the rotation last season.
Outside of James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers don’t have a single player in the top 100 in the league, based on Andy Bailey’s Advanced Stats aggregate rankings. According to Bailey’s list, the highest-ranked Lakers player besides James and Davis is Austin Reeves at No. 144. Russell Westbrook ranks 172nd.
Even LeBron in his prime — who dragged an obscure Cavaliers team to the Finals in 2007 and repeated the feat in 2018 — was powerless against this Lakers team.