Many, including several involved with the Lakers organization, were calling last night’s game against the Knicks a must-win for a team that is considered to be massively underachieving at 9-14 on the season, especially with all the talent it assembled this offseason.
Unfortunately for LA, it fell 116-107 at Madison Square Garden last night without the help from Pau Gasol and Steve Nash, who remained out with injuries. Carmelo Anthony led the way for the Knicks, dropping 22 of his team-high 30 points in the opening period.
“I wanted to beat them. I wanted to beat the Lakers, especially protecting our home court,” Anthony said via ESPN.com. “It had nothing to do with Mike (D’Antoni). I wanted to protect our home court and win the basketball game.”
Despite hiring D’Antoni and changing the offensive scheme, everybody continues to beat up the Lakers, causing fans to wonder: Could this team actually miss the playoffs?
As the losses mount, the concern does as well, especially for bettors who banked on this team before the regular season started. As of Tuesday, Bovada still had the Lakers among the favorites to win this year’s NBA Championship, until the Lakers start to show it on the floor, there will be plenty of doubters.
Bovada might be confident, but ESPN’s Playoff Odds currently have the Lakers at 46.3% to make the playoffs. LA has the fourth worst record of any team in the West, and although there is plenty of season left and plenty of time for a comeback, at 23 games in, it may be time to start avoiding the Lakers as a futures bet.
Of course, with the talent they could just as easily turn things around and make the playoffs, but as far as winning the title, which so many seemed to think was a sure thing when they acquired Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, I wouldn’t count on it.