The Lakers have hit a rough patch over the course of the last couple of months. They started the season 10-10 and looked like a much improved team over the one that finished last year 17-65. Since then, the team has gone 6-22 and sunk in the Western Conference standings to 14th place, just one spot ahead of the Phoenix Suns. They are in the midst of a stretch in which they’ve lost six of their last seven games, including a 122-73 loss to the Mavericks on Sunday; that 49-point margin of defeat being the largest in franchise history.
All of this losing has led to discussion of the team potentially tanking in order to retain the rights to their draft pick this summer. As things currently stand, the team would be in danger of losing its 2017 pick to the Sixers by virtue of falling outside of the top three picks in the draft. The Lakers coach, Luke Walton, doesn’t want to hear any discussion of tanking because, as he puts it, the ‘basketball gods’ come back to get you in the long run.
To Walton’s point there’s still plenty of time for the team to turn things around, and they’ve already nearly equaled last season’s win total with the 16 wins they already have. The team returns to the court tonight as they travel to Portland for a date with the Trailblazers. Tip is set for 7:30 p.m. PT on ESPN.