The NBA season has not been easy for the Los Angeles Lakers.
They’ve had a lot of injuries, a ton of cap room and an elite talent that hasn’t quite hit the court yet.
But the Lakers’ record doesn’t appear to be too far off from last year’s, and they’re starting to show some improvement.
The Lakers were 4-1 when Kobe Bryant was out and 3-2 when he was in.
After losing their second straight game against the Brooklyn Nets, they were on the verge of winning their third straight, before losing the final two of the season.
They are 3-1 on the year when Bryant is in the lineup, and 1-3 when he’s not.
“There’s no one-to-one comparison for our team, it’s the players,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said.
Bryant has missed the last two games, but his teammates have been more consistent in their play.
With Bryant out, the Lakers have had to rely on a bunch of rookies, like D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Julius Randnias.
Randnias has been the most consistent player on the team this season.
Randnia is averaging 16.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists, while Russell has averaged 18.7, 10.2 and 5.4 points per game.
Russell has averaged 28.3 points on 50.3 percent shooting in the last four games.
“[Russell] is making us better,” said Russell, who is averaging 19.8 points, 10 rebounds and 6.2 assists over his last four.
Lakers guard Julius Randlias has started to see his numbers rise.
It’s not easy being a rookie in the NBA, but Randlaisis shooting and rebounding have been huge for the Lakers this season, and he’s had a huge impact on the defense.
In his last two outings, Randlis has shot 54.3 and 48.2 percent, respectively.
He’s been the best defender of the Lakers defensive units in those games, allowing just 17.4 ppg on 42.2% shooting, which is second to only Brandon Ingram in the league.
If Russell and Randlas can keep up their offensive output, they could be very dangerous in the future.
Their starting lineup has scored 106.7 ppg over the last seven games, which ranks second in the entire NBA.
That is a huge jump from last season when they were at 100.3 ppg.
This is the type of improvement that could propel them to the playoffs, and if they can continue to keep up that pace, they should have a chance to make a deep run this year.
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