maybe maybe not. Ball has been out since just before James came back and Ball's defense has been very badly missed. They are just 5-14 since Ball went down, because, in large part, without Ball they have no one playing defense in the backcourt.
They were the 4 seed when he got hurt. Aside from James though, they've had a lot of injuries. Ingram, Ball, and Rondo have all missed a ton of games as well. They've all missed at least 14 games (and Ball and Ingram are done for the year now). That is a lot of lost time to 4 of the 5 most important players on that team.
Last year 35-47 .427
This year 30-36 .455
Lebron's impact = 2,8% better regular season from the year before.
That's a mark of a true leader that makes his teams better.
Their record with LeBron in the lineup was above .500 before the LeBron got hurt. The Lakers were a good team until he got hurt.
Let's see what that W-L record was. I can't remember it exactly but it was a good mark. They are 24-24 (.500) total with LeBron on the floor. In the 14 games since he returned from injury, the Lakers have won only 4 games. So their W-L with LeBron in the team was 20 wins and 14 losses (.588) prior to his injury.
If not for the injury, I think LAL would have finished up as a 45 win level team.
Injuries are just an excuse. The Lakers have been worse since Lebron came back than they were when he was injured.
The primary reason for that is because Lebron and his agent threw a giant chemistry bomb into the locker room.
And for the record the Lakers were 6-12 without James and are 4-10 with him since he came back, so not all that much different record wise. They are 25-22 in Ball's games and 25-20 in the games Ball has started. They really do badly miss him.
By extension, aren’t you arguing that Lonzo Ball is more important to the Lakers than Lebron?
I don’t buy it. They’re not losing because Ball is out. They’re losing because the locker room was destroyed by their alleged team leader.
I will grant you that nobody on that team even pretends to play defense, though.
Yes I am. Given the current makeup of that team, Lonzo Ball is more important than Lebron James. Lebron is without question a better player, but no other guard on that roster would know what defense was if it bit them in the butt, and yes that includes Rondo, who has been downright awful defensively. Without Ball, they give up points like a sieve to opposing back courts. They need Ball on the court to at least slow opposing back courts down, giving them a chance to win.