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Why Are the Lakers Trash?

The Los Angeles Lakers were up 100-94, with 7:23 left in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks. Everything was looking up for a team that had hit hard times due to injuries and subpar play. Then, the Mavs go on an 11-point run to go up by five with 3:53 left. Eventually, Dallas won the game by a score of 109-104.

This has been a motif for the Lakers this season. Letting down their fans with terrible play, injuries, and LeBron James being a distraction have all done their part. For a team that just won the NBA title a couple of years back, it seems like everything is coming apart. So, what happened?

For one, you have to look at the Russell Westbrook trade. Why go out of your way to get a star that always needs the ball when you focus your game around Anthony Davis? Even with the Brow injured, the former MVP has shown his age. Westbrook is averaging only 18.1 PPG and has made only 35% of his field goals in the past nine games. He's also averaging four turnovers a game, making life harder for the Lakers.

You must also blame Frank Vogel for mismanaging Westbrook and his team. His failure to establish Russ in an efficient role along with terrible utilization of his bench has hindered the Lakers. When you have aging players like Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard, things don't get much better. As a result, Los Angeles has fallen apart late in games, blowing leads and furthering themselves from the playoff picture.

Even LeBron has some blame in this. The megastar has been distracted in recent memory, showing some signs of being homesick. He's also gotten into it with fans, attacking them for booing the Lakers' poor play. These have resulted in a lack of leadership on and off the court.

No matter what the issue is, Los Angeles seems more like "Lost Angeles" this season. A lack of identity and leadership crippled this team, leaving them fading down the stretch. Fingers will point at one another to pin the blame. However, that only proves the dysfunction of this Lakers team this year.

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