Are Walton's Days Numbered As Coach Of The Lakers?

Monday, February 18, 2019 4:11 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 18, 2019 4:11 PM UTC

The Lakers are playing .500 basketball and if that continues, look for coach Luke Walton's head to be on the chopping block. Sportsbooks already are laying odds as to when it will happen. 

<p>After the trade deadline, the L.A. Lakers were in a difficult situation. Essentially, most of their starting lineup plus a few other players, most of which were young and early in their careers, were rumored to be on their way out in a potential Anthony Davis trade. Obviously, that trade never happened, and now, there’s a lot of soul-searching this team and it’s players have to do.</p><p>“It’s only going to be tough to come back from spiritually,” David Griffin, former Cavaliers General Manager and <a href="https://soundcloud.com/positionless/former-cavs-gm-and-current-siriusxm-and-nbatv-host-and-analyst-david-griffin#t=46:39" target="_blank">current NBATV and SiriusXM analyst told me</a>. “I think it’s very possible everyone will move on, everybody will be fine, it doesn’t have to burn their house down. It’ll all be good. But, they’re not going to be nearly as connected emotionally as they were before all of that. And it’s going to take some time. Will they as individuals get over it? Sure. But spiritually, it’s going to be rocky for awhile there.”</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Me trying to figure out Luke Walton’s rotations &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/hSjzDYsm9Z\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/hSjzDYsm9Z&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Joe Glumsic (@GolferJG23) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/GolferJG23/status/1095497245586280449?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;February 13, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>Currently, the Lakers sit at 10th in the Western Conference at a woeful 28-29 and are 3-7 in their last 10 games. Obviously, there is blame to go around but the clear scapegoat, if it gets much worse, is head coach Luke Walton.</p><p>Even though Walton has done a good job in getting the young players on their team to buy-in and seems to have done a better job coaching team defense, we have to remember that this was not Rob Pelinka or Magic Johnson’s coaching hire. And when a new front office steps into the fold, like Johnson and Pelinka did, they’re likely going to want their own pick of a coach.</p><p>Now, it just seems like it’s a matter of time before Walton is out of a job. <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/best-sportsbooks/" title="SBR's Top-Rated Sportsbooks">Sportsbooks already are taking bets</a> on who the replacement could be and if it will happen before or after the season is over.</p><p>If the Lakers continue playing around .500 basketball for the rest of the way and teams like Sacramento and their rivaled Clippers continue to stay ahead of their pace, I think we may see Walton gone in the next few weeks, if not before. This Davis trade speculation coupled with the lack of sheer communication coming from the front office, makes me think that they will use that against Walton when and if the firing occurs.</p><p>It seems like this an extreme uphill battle for Walton and company to meet expectations of at least making the playoffs. Right now, the Lakers aren’t particularly good in any statistical category other than PACE (3rd in the NBA) and defensive rating (11th in the league). But, even then, other contributing statistics that show us how good or bad a team is like offensive rating, expected win-loss, points per game, opponents points per game, simple rating system all rank within the bottom half of the league.</p><p>If the Lakers really want to make the most out of LeBron James time in the near future, the team, front office and the staff will need to all be on the same page in order to succeed. And if Walton isn’t Magic and Rob’s “guy,” then they need to do what’s best for them and what they feel is best for the team. I don’t like the way this situation was handled and I am not a supporter of firing Walton, but I’d be very surprised if Walton was around at the end of this season.</p><p> </p>
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