Former NBA power Charles Oakley is much like the rest of us. He’s wondering if the Lakers will be anything more than an unpredictable, up-and-down team this season.
Oakley, for one, seems to think not much will change for the Lakers, who are off to a rocky 12-11 start despite having a heavy slate of early home games. And new acquisition Russell Westbrook is a reason why, Oakley suggested.
Of course, it doesn’t help that LeBron James has missed more than half the games with injuries and illness (and a one-game suspension).
“LA will be up and down all year because Westbrook is Westbrook, his mindset in basketball is different than LeBron’s or the other guys,” Oakley told Betway Insider, via TalkBasket. “He plays into himself sometimes.”
Along with James, Anthony Davis and Westbrook, the Lakers brought in the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza, Malik Monk and several others. So far, it has meant little beyond them fielding the oldest roster inn NBA history, with an average age of 30.
“But as soon as LA finds a system, a top seven or eight guys — Carmelo’s starting now, he was coming off the bench earlier in the season — but it’s gonna be a rollercoaster this year I think,” Oakley said.
Instead of LA, Oakley envisions the likes of the defending Western Conference champion Suns or heated up Warriors as the favorites to emerge from the West.
“You’ve got to answer to them now. The way Golden State’s playing, you’ve got to make them the favorite right now because they’re playing mid-season basketball. They’ve got it clicking on all cylinders. Steph Curry is cooking.”