It has been a struggle for the LA Lakers this season, and there's a lot of blame on the organization. As per the latest NBA rumors, coach Frank Vogel could be fired in the offseason, depending on how the Lakers' season ends.
According to Sam Amick and Bill Oram of The Athletic, the Lakers were close to firing Vogel in January after a 37-point loss to the Denver Nuggets. The organization is now reportedly ready to let go of their championship-winning coach unless a miraculous playoff run materializes.
"With one season left on his deal, all signs point to him being replaced in the summer unless there is, in fact, a stunning playoff run in their future. As one source put it, advancing to the second round or conference finals, unlikely as that appears, would greatly improve his chances. That final decision, of course, is yet to be made," Amick and Oram wrote.
The LA Lakers have a record of 28-36 following their 110-117 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night. They were without LeBron James, who was sidelined due to a sore left knee. The Lakers put up a fight, but the Spurs managed to hold on for a win.
It has been a tough season for the Lakers due to a plethora of reasons. Russell Westbrook has not gelled well with his new team, Anthony Davis is perennially in street clothes, and the rest of the team has forgotten to play defense. Add the fact that the team gave up their depth to acquire Westbrook makes it more difficult for fans to accept the team's current plight.
Can the LA Lakers turn their season around and make the playoffs?
With just 18 games left in the regular season, can the LA Lakers turn it around and make the playoffs? The Lakers are currently ninth in the Western Conference, 10.5 games behind sixth place, as they look to make the play-in tournament.
If the Lakers maintain their position, they'll host the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round of the play-in tournament. A win over the Pelicans will give them the opportunity to earn the eighth seed, facing either the Minnesota Timberwolves or the LA Clippers.
If the Lakers make the playoffs, they will almost surely go up against the Phoenix Suns. The team from the valley has been the best in the NBA this season. So it will depend on how the Lakers look at the end of the season to stand a chance of beating the Suns.
Anthony Davis is still recovering from an ankle injury, while the coaching stuff is mulling to bench Russell Westbrook. LeBron James is playing ageless basketball, but his left knee could be the final nail in their coffin. To exacerbate matters, the Lakers have the toughest schedule remaining.
In their next 18 games, the Lakers will mostly face teams in playoff and play-in positions. The only two teams not in those positions are the Houston Rockets and the OKC Thunder. In more bad news, the Lakers' wins over the Rockets were pretty close games, and the Thunder have already beaten them twice this season.
It remains to be seen how the rest of the season pans out for the 17-time winners.