Some Los Angeles Lakers fans think it’s time to hit the panic button.
Despite Omicron pushing players into the league’s health and safety protocols, the NBA still powered through with its slate of Christmas day games. One of those games that most NBA fans had circled was the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers matchup. Coming into gameday, the Nets were one of the many teams affected by the recent wave of players affected by the virus with superstar Kevin Durant and reactivated Kyrie Irving both landing in health in safety protocols, leaving James Harden and the role players to face LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and the Lakers.
Even without Anthony Davis, what should have been a piece of cake for a Lakers team turned into another stinker for them. Despite James putting up another valiant effort finishing 39 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists, James Harden and the Nets were able to escape Crypto.com Arena with a huge statement win after holding off a Lakers comeback. James didn’t get much help from his co-star Russell Westbrook, who finished with a triple-double, 13 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists, with five fouls and three turnovers that didn’t impact the game.
The Lakers have now lost five games in a row, a first for LeBron James-led team, and are below .500. After the game, James defended Westbrook, highlighting his point guard’s assists total.
“He gave us extra possessions, he gave us a lot of looks around the basket, which I know that he can’t stand [failing to convert] as well,” James said to reporters following the 122-115 Nets’ victory. “But as far as the effort piece, if a guy plays hard, if a guy leaves it all out on the floor, I got no problem with that. It’s a make-or-miss league.”
While James is not publicly voicing or displaying frustration, Lakers fans are most definitely fed up with the up-and-down play from this team. Lakers fan account @LakeShowYo asked in tweet, “RT if Lakers should trade Russell Westbrook,” and it has amassed over 11,000 retweets.
Another account highlighted Westbrook looking completely lost on defense.
Yes, it’s still early in this COVID-19-impacted season, but the Lakers still have time to get things on track. Lakers fans are still panicking. You can peep more reactions in the gallery below.
Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty