I think they overachieved.
They weren’t expected to make the playoffs, or beat the Grizzlies, or beat the Warriors, or beat the Nuggets.
The Lakers went all the way to the WCF and got swept by the Nuggets. By the standards of what people expected from them, they got pretty far and lost to a 1 seed as a 7th seed. Sure, they didn’t win a championship, but they weren’t even expected to be in the WCF in the first place!
^ From Vegas Odds.. the Lakers were behind the Grizzlies, Warriors and (obviously) Nuggets to make the WCF. And yet they made it there. Now all the haters will say how they were the favorites to beat the Nuggets which isn’t true, the haters are literally just cherry picking some Lakers fans who had their team as favorites and then using that to generalize things as if everyone picked the Lakers to win. That screenshot ^ up there is proof, show that to any hater who said the Lakers were favorites.
The Lakers had an aging and injured but still effective in spurts Lebron, an very good on defense but inconsistent on offense AD, and a bunch of solid role players in D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, Austin Reaves, Lonnie Walker, Dennis Schroder. Their coach was a rookie Darvin Ham. This team on paper, is a 2nd round team. After they unexpectedly beat the Warriors though, the expectations were raised (but still the Nuggets were the odds on favorite).
They managed to beat the Warriors through a little bit of luck. The Lakers are just a bad matchup for the Warriors due to their size and interior play. Because of this they were able to exploit GSW on the interior in order to get a huge FT advantage (many casuals online who don’t know much basketball say it’s ‘rigged’ but it’s actually due to the difference in how they play).
Against the Nuggets tho, they lost all these advantages. The Nuggets are bigger, lengthier, as well coached as GSW, and with more offensive firepower (they had 7 guys averaging double digit PPG). Lakers could no longer exploit any differences in size or play for a FT advantage. Darvin Ham was simply outcoached by Mike Malone. AD’s inconsistency came up at the worst times, D-Lo was just trash, Lebron continued to shoot poorly and the whole team was just generally outplayed by the Nuggets.
Despite getting swept, I think Lakers did much better than what most people expected of the Lakers.
Of course, Lebron is being killed online and that was going to happen no matter what. If he won, people would be saying that the NBA rigged it for him to win. If he loses, then it’s all his fault like always. Bron played all 48 minutes in the Game 4, putting up a near 40 pt triple double at age 38… and he’s getting killed
^ No mercy for Lebron online no matter what his performance was, because he lost. Then these idiots start making things up about Jordan and Kobe saying how they would have beaten the Nuggets (yeah right!) and saying how Lebron deserves to be criticized because we praise him when he has a good game but don’t criticize him when he loses.
^ Uhhh no.
^ These ppl don’t know MJ got swept twice in the 80s?
^ These people don’t understand how expectations work. When you perform ABOVE expectations (like beating the Warriors) you get praised. When you put up a 40pt triple double at 38 years old, you get praise because that’s not what a normal 38 year old does in the NBA. When you have bad games or lose at 38 years old you don’t get criticized. These people might be wondering why. Well, because you are merely MEETING expectations of playing like a normal 38 year old. You don’t fire an employee just because they don’t outperform their peers like they usually do right? That’s why at 38 years old, we PRAISE Lebron when he has good games (because that’s unexpected) but we SHOULDNT criticize him when he loses (because that’s just what is expected of a normal 38 year old player). Do these people get it? I guess not because haters are having a field day with Lebron getting swept and blaming him for everything.