接下来几周的赛程将决定球队本赛季的成败

发布:STOKES 时间:2019-01-20 18:43 阅读:214 点击收藏

作者:Sabreena Merchant
译者:Bill
校对:Lincoln & Jerry

詹姆斯.jpg

因为詹姆斯处于其经纪人里奇-保罗的保护性监管下,一年一度的格莱美客场之旅对于湖人来说是一段危险的时期。

湖人——或至少是湖人球迷——看到了一条有点令人诧异的新闻:本周早些时候詹姆斯经纪人里奇-保罗爆料,詹姆斯在圣诞大战遭遇的腹股沟伤势起初诊断为休战3周。这个复出时间表可能会增加到6周,因此詹姆斯不会随队前往客场的比赛。

先把公布詹姆斯伤情的推论放到一边(这支队总是在谈论他们的超级明星),讨论湖人因詹姆斯复出延后所作出的调整,这可有趣多了。因为自詹姆斯受伤至今,湖人只拿到了5胜7负的成绩(注:文章发表在今日对战火箭之前),有点浪费了这段有7个主场比赛的赛程,其中还有3场是打东部的鱼腩球队。

假设詹姆斯遭遇了自己职业生涯最严重的伤病,因此在训练也保持最大程度的谨慎,并缺席了整整6周,这会让他的复出期限推迟到2月5号,正好是在湖人这段客场之旅的中期。也就是说着詹姆斯会在球队最艰难时期的中间阶段复出。

在全明星周末期间,湖人当然希望在西部十队季后赛抢滩战中锁定季后赛席位。上赛季在全明星周末期间,八支季后赛球队里有七支都锁定了季后赛。但是考虑到剩下赛程的难度,湖人必须提升球队竞技实力,才能在后三周争夺季后赛里继续保持领先位置,在昨天打雷霆的比赛就开始有了这样的势头。

在接下来的11场比赛里,只有两场比赛湖人实力占优(主场迎战快船和太阳)。还有2场和实力不相上下的队伍打(主场迎战森林狼和客场挑战老鹰)。还剩下的7场比赛——火箭、勇士、76人(两场)、凯尔特人和步行者——湖人和这些对手比明显处于下风。

鲍尔.jpg

可以说,以3胜10负或4胜7负的成绩结束这一段赛程,还不能让湖人在惨烈的西部季后赛争夺里搭到末班车。湖人必须打出超过外界预期的表现,这对湖人队是一次不小的挑战。

这是一次震慑季后赛潜在对手的绝佳时机,也就是火箭和勇士,展现出过去几周并不是一支有着新标准的球队,而是球队在没有詹姆斯的情况下所经历的阵痛——环顾整个联盟,过程艰难的例子可不止一个。超过七场全美直播的比赛,詹姆斯复出之前年轻人还有大量球权,这是年轻核心去证明自己,打出节奏的关键时段。

这些年轻人也需要用好的表现保持自己潜在交易的价值,以至于不打乱湖人未来的计划,但这是另外一种情况。

如果湖人现在能在接下来的11场比赛里保持住自己的节奏和赢球的势头,他们在回到主场之前会取得至少31胜26负的战绩。这个胜率最终会转化为44或45胜,FiveThirtyEight网预计这个胜率会排在西部第六。

进入新年时多数人预计湖人会在季后赛首轮拿到主场优势,但考虑到实际情况,西部第六这个结果也是可以接受的。詹姆斯复出时不会让他打过长时间,让他在场上的速度保持在平均以上,也不会是超人般的速度,就是赛季初他展现出的的速度。

如果湖人不能撑过这段黑暗的赛程,他们在全明星周末时一定会落到爵士后面,有可能在西部第十位和鹈鹕等球队处于同一梯队。尽管管理层说今年只是漫长过程中的又一年,但错过季后赛会变成一场灾难。到3月份再去争夺季后赛席位意味着给詹姆斯带来更多消耗,给早已适应自己角色的年轻人更多压力,给沃顿带来更多苛责。这不是球队理想的境遇,且会让球队重新陷入早期的风口浪尖上。

从数据上看,没有什么比82场常规赛更重要的了。但湖人处于人们预想不到的境遇,湖人要控制住舆论,并掌握自己季后赛的命运。想做到这两点,最好的方式就是赢球,尤其是在全国观众面前赢联盟最强的球队。

如果湖人能像几周前打勇士时那样团结起来,联盟剩下的球队都会小心的。没有人想在季后赛面对詹姆斯所带领的球队,特别是那些没有人能打开局面的球队。为了确保这件事能如期进行,湖人是时候行动起来了,尤其是在赛程压力大的情况下。机会就在那里,湖人只需要凭本事抓住就行了。

原文:

The next few weeks of the Lakers’ schedule could make or break the season

Sabreena Merchant

With LeBron James in Rich Paul’s protective custody, the annual Grammy road trip comes at a precarious time for the Lakers.

The Lakers — or at least their fans — received somewhat surprising news earlier this week when LeBron James’ agent Rich Paul revealed that James had originally been given a three-week prognosis for his Christmas Day groin injury. That timetable was then updated to include an upper limit of six weeks, and as a result, James still isn’t traveling with the Lakers.

Leaving aside the implications of how the news of James’ injury has been disclosed (the team has mostly been referring to its superstar as ‘day-to-day’), it’s far more interesting to consider how Los Angeles will fare moving forward with the new timeline. Thus far, the Lakers are 5-7 without James in the lineup, somewhat squandering what looked to be an easy stretch with seven home games, including three against the dregs of the Eastern Conference.

Let’s assume that James will exercise maximum caution with arguably the worst injury of his career, and sit out the full six weeks, which would put his return date at February 5, right in the middle of Los Angeles’ annual Grammy road trip. That means that James will be feeling his way back on the court in the midst of the team’s toughest spell of the season.

The Lakers would surely rather be in playoff position already by the All-Star break in what seems to be a ten-team race in the Western Conference. Last season, seven of the eight eventual playoff teams were in postseason position by the break.
However, with the difficulty of the upcoming schedule, Los Angeles will have to raise its level of play to stay ahead of the pack in the next three weeks, which started last night against Oklahoma City.

Looking ahead to the next 11 games, the Lakers would appear to be favored in only two contests (at home against the Clippers and the Suns). Two more games would be relative toss-ups (at home against Minnesota and on the road in Atlanta). That leaves seven games — Houston, Golden State, Philadelphia (twice), Boston and Indiana — in which the Lakers would be pretty clear underdogs.

Suffice to say, a 3-10 or even 4-7 record to finish out this part of the season isn’t going to keep Los Angeles atop the morass at the bottom of the Western Conference playoff picture. The Lakers will need to outperform expectations, and that’s a good challenge for this team.

There’s an opportunity here to put some real fear into potential postseason opponents, namely the Rockets and the Warriors, and show that the last few weeks haven’t been the new norm, but rather the natural growing pains of a team learning to live without LeBron James — look around the league, there’s more than one example of that painful process. With seven more nationally-televised games, this is also a prime time for the young core to continue to prove itself and develop some rhythm before James comes back and everyone else’s usage goes down.

The young guys also need to play well and retain their theoretical trade value for Los Angeles to maintain its future plans, but that’s a different story.

For now, if the Lakers maintain their current pace and put together a winning record in their next 11 games, they’ll be at least 31-26 heading into the home stretch of the season. That win percentage would translate to 44 or 45 wins, which FiveThirtyEight projects to be the sixth seed.

Most people in Los Angeles were probably hoping for one round with home-court advantage when the year started, but the sixth seed would still be a reasonable outcome considering the circumstances. Said scenario would also enable James to not have to push himself too hard when he returns, so he can continue playing at the above-average, but not superhuman, speed he demonstrated in the first part of the season.

If the Lakers don’t come out of this stretch in the black, they will undoubtedly be behind the Utah Jazz when they surface for the All-Star break, and potentially in tenth place looking up at the New Orleans Pelicans or someone else. Regardless of what the front office said about this being year one of a longer process, missing the postseason would be an abject disaster. Having to chase down the playoffs in March means extra strain on LeBron James, extra pressure on young players already adjusting to new roles and extra scrutiny on Luke Walton. It is not an ideal situation for a team that is in the early stages of getting back into contention.

Mathematically, none of the 82 games matter any more than the others. But Los Angeles is in unexpected territory, and the Lakers need to take control of their narrative, and their postseason fate. The best way to do both is to win some games, especially ones against the best teams in the league in front of a national audience.

If the Lakers can start to resemble the team they were against the Warriors a few weeks ago, the rest of the league will take note. No one wants to face a LeBron-led team in the playoffs, particularly not one that comfortably made its way in. In order to ensure that happens, this is the time for the Lakers to make a run, particularly with the challenges the schedule presents. The opportunity is there for the taking, the Lakers will just have to seize it.

标签:湖人鲍尔
评论
0/200