The Los Angeles Lakers are just a few days away from beginning the second half of the regular season, where they have one of the toughest strength of schedules in the NBA. This is after a 3-7 finish to the first half that dropped them to No. 3 in the Western Conference just barely ahead of the fourth-seeded L.A. Clippers.
The Lakers faced the shortest offseason in league history and added five new rotation players, including two starters and a major bench piece in Montrezl Harrell. Despite that, L.A. still got off to a 21-6 start before injuries and health and safety protocols took them firmly out of rhythm.
Harrell spoke about the first half of the season and praised the team for fighting through adversity. “Good first half of the season,” Harrell said. “We played through the ups and downs, through the adversity, COVID, to injuries, to just learning a whole new team.”
“I think we got a lot more we’re going to do, I think we’re gonna do that, but this break is definitely a much-needed one and I think guys are gonna use it to our advantage and come back prepared to finish out the season.”
The NBA did the Lakers a small favor by giving the Lakers an extra-long All-Star break. The break itself only went from March 5-9, with games happening on the fourth and 10th. However, the Lakers played their last game on the third and won’t play again until the 12th, meaning they get eight full days off.
Harrell and the Lakers can take plenty of lessons from the first half into the rest of the season. Before even discussing adding new players, they have to first fix some internal issues such as three-point shooting, paint protection, and turnovers.
Getting Anthony Davis back from injury will help almost all of these things, but it will still take a team effort.
Lakers optimistic they can land ADrummond
While the Lakers will focus on fixing some of their internal issues, there is no harm in looking elsewhere to find more help. One name that has continued to float around is Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond. He could be heading for a buyout if he is not traded before March 25, and the Lakers are optimistic they can sign him.
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