The 2021-22 Los Angeles Lakers will be remembered as a great mystery due to the unfulfilled potential of the team that seemed rich in start power in the offseason.
L.A. entered the campaign with a group of players that combined for over 50 All-Star honors. Led by the LeBron James-Anthony Davis-Russell Westbrook triumvirate, the Lakers hoped to be back among championship contenders after a disappointing, first-round playoff exit the previous year.
But as the Purple and Gold’s Big 3 managed to play in just over 20 games during 2021-22, the team failed to gel and never came close to realizing its potential.
“We didn’t expect us to only have 21 games together but it’s just kind of been that year, said Anthony Davis.
“Either I’m in or he’s in and the times we do play together, we look really good. And then somebody’s out of the lineup, so it’s just kind of been that year. It’s been tough not being able to fully reach our potential as far as us three being on the floor and seeing what we really could be.”
However, Davis pointed out the Lakers didn’t do enough to cover for their stars when injuries sidelined them at various points of the season.
“With that being said, we also have enough to win basketball games even when he don’t play or I don’t play like we saw tonight, fought extremely hard and we were there,” Davis said after the 129-118 loss to the Denver Nuggets.
“Some costly plays at the end the last four or five minutes that kind of cost us the game, but if we continue to fight this way then we’ll give ourselves a chance and see what happens.”
Davis added the misfortunes of the season left him wondering what the 2021-22 Lakers could have become if they stayed healthy all year.
“Of course you got to figure out the kinks early on but after it takes that 10, 12, 15, whatever amount of games to figure it out, you get close to the All-Star [break], and after you’re kind of rolling starting to figure things out,” the Lakers forward said.
“What could we have been if I was healthy all year, Bron was healthy, K. Nunn was healthy. You think about those things. We put this team together and it looked really good on paper, but we haven’t had a chance to reach our potential with guys being in and out of the lineup.
“So the most frustrating part of this season is just not being sure of what could’ve been.”
James ‘unlikely’ to face Suns but ‘things could unexpectedly improve in next 48 hours’
Recent reports claim James is ‘unlikely’ to face the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday after the 37-year-old watched the loss to the Nuggets from the sidelines due to ankle soreness.
However, the All-Star forward might still try to give his ankle a go if “things unexpectedly improve in the next 48 hours.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!