Throughout six games, the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves with a 3-3 record to begin the 2021-22 NBA season.
There have been some positive signs sprinkled throughout this start, but most of the spotlight has been directed at the bad, and understandably so. Although six games is surely a small sample size to judge a team by, there have been some notable concerns on display early on that could continue to hinder the Lakers as the new season goes on. These issues could certainly be resolved, but here are three current concerns for the Lakers following their turbulent six-game start to the season.
No. 1 — The Los Angeles Lakers have been hit with an assortment of injuries
Injuries were the biggest reason why the Lakers’ season got derailed so quickly last year, and they are dealing with a similar predicament early on once again.
The team has been bombarded with injuries early on. Trevor Ariza, who was likely going to start, underwent ankle surgery before the season. Talen Horton-Tucker underwent thumb surgery and remains out of the lineup, while newcomers Wayne Ellington and Kendrick Nunn continue to nurse individual injuries and have been given no timetable to return. Rajon Rondo missed Friday’s game with an ankle issue and remains day-to-day. Being without this key group of players has been very challenging for the Lakers thus far, and it will likely continue to hinder the rotation.
The two biggest injury concerns for the Lakers revolve around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the team’s two superstar talents. James recently missed consecutive games with ankle soreness, and everyone knows that an ankle injury limited him to a career-low 45 games last season, and to see him dealing with this early on is somewhat worrisome. James returned to the lineup in Friday’s game, but this ankle soreness will be worth monitoring as the season progresses. As for Davis, he also battled through various injuries last season and gave Laker fans a scare early after suffering a knee injury in a recent matchup with the San Antonio Spurs. Thankfully, he appears to be alright.
Injuries were a crucial concern for the Lakers heading into this season, and they have been an unfortunate storyline early on. As the year goes on and these players add on more miles, health will be a determining factor in any success that this team sees as title contenders.