The Los Angeles Lakers are 37-30 – good for 7th place in the Western Conference. They are 2-8 in their last 10 games and find themselves dangerously close to having to participate in a play-in outing for the right to advance into the postseason.
Obviously the Lakers’ issues are a matter of public record. LeBron James has been hurt, and his recent prognosis doesn’t sound especially promising. There have also been the chemistry problems that Dennis Schroder has alluded to on multiple occasions.
But one big dilemma has been and continues to be the Lakers’ indecision as it pertains to the center position.
LA added Andre Drummond after failing to make a big move at the trade deadline. The hope was that he would come in and fill a role that Marc Gasol had originally been expected to, but ultimately never did. There was a lot of excitement from certain players initially, and a bit of vocal disappointment from Gasol.
Unfortunately, Drummond hasn’t quite been able to deliver either.
Marc Gasol has a 2.2 box plus/minus and 2.7 wins over replacement player with the Lakers.
— Andy Bailey (@AndrewDBailey) May 8, 2021
Since his signing, the defending champs have been outscored by 0.5 points per 100 possessions when he plays and 0.4 when he sits. Moreover, throughout the Lakers’ last 10 outings, Gasol has produced a 12.3 net rating. Drummond’s net rating over that same period of time? An eye-popping -6.5.
Mind you, Gasol plays 11 fewer minutes per game than Drummond does.
This past week, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel was asked about his planned minutes distribution for his bigs in the playoffs.
“Those are what you call good problems for a coach,” he said, per Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll.
Are they, though? The Lakers have a bunch of a adequate bigs, but none who are really shining above the rest. That’s not quite the same thing as having four All-Stars.
The Bucks owner’s daughter decided to bring 2021 in with a bang by stripping all her clothes off. https://t.co/UgzhEEna4o
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 7, 2021
LA has invested a lot in the hope that Drummond would be the big that carries them to another title. Thus far, he hasn’t delivered. It may be time for a drastic change – giving Gasol more of Drummond’s minutes.
Will it happen? Time will tell.
Should it? Absolutely.