The Lakers got their doors blown all the way off in a humiliating loss to the Indiana Pacers Tuesday night, by the eye-popping score of 136–94. Magic Johnson is currently hoping to flip several of his team’s young rotation guys for one of the five best basketball players on earth—at the rate that the Lakers’ supporting players are shriveling, by the time the trade deadline comes around Thursday afternoon they will not be able to exchange them for one quarter-pounder.
The Lakers have been playing ragged basketball for more than a month now, and the return of LeBron from a long injury absence has evidently not righted their ship. Meanwhile, the famous father of one of their most prominent players is dumping all over the organization, and their head coach is on the hottest of hot seats, and they’re outside of the playoff picture in the deep and loaded Western Conference. And in the last week they’ve offered just about every player on the roster not named LeBron James to the Pelicans in various trade proposals, and been told that no combination of those players is worth the one guy they’re trying to land.
So it was no great surprise that this unhappy bunch appeared a little flat on the road Tuesday night against a depleted Eastern Conference foe. But there’s needing a quarter or a half to get your shit together on the road, and then there’s coming within seven points of the worst loss in franchise history. Tuesday’s effort, unfortunately, was the latter:
The 42-point margin represents the worst loss LeBron has suffered in any game in his career. The situation is getting ridiculous. Half of the team’s rotation players now know that if they are still on the team by the end of this week, it will register as a profound, crushing disappointment to their bosses and their team’s best player. And that’s exactly how they all played against the Pacers! Like a bunch of guys who are only wearing the same color jerseys because another NBA team would mostly prefer not to have some number of them. Morale, as you can imagine, is not great!
In more upbeat news, Michael Beasley, JaVale McGee, and Luke Walton all say the head coach did not, in fact, nearly come to blows with two veteran players in the locker room over the weekend. Silver linings!