The Los Angeles Lakers are not meeting expectations following a Western Conference Finals appearance in 2023.
The Lakers entered the 2023-34 season with high hopes in a Western Conference that appeared to be wide open.
It has not gone as planned.
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The Lakers lost to the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night, dropping to 7-8 in January, 24-25 overall, and they currently sit in the ninth spot in the West.
LeBron James, who has a player option for next season, played in back-to-back games at 39 years old and had 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists against the Hawks.
Following the game, James took to X, the company formerly known as Twitter, and posted an hourglass emoji early Wednesday morning.
Without the services of Anthony Davis, who missed the second game of the back-to-back, the Lakers fell behind by 20 points in the second half and were unable to stage a comeback.
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“We could, on any given night, beat any team in the NBA,” James said. “But, on any given night, we can get our (butt) kicked by any team in the NBA. What’s our record? Under .500? There you go.”
Atlanta shot 42.1% from three (16-38) and outrebounded the Lakers 46 to 37.
“We were making shots,” Atlanta star Trae Young said. “Sometimes when you don’t make shots, it allows them to stay in the game, have a rhythm, feel good about themselves. But nights like tonight, when you make shots, they can’t have that feeling.”
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The Lakers are starting to run out of time to improve the roster as the NBA’s trade deadline rapidly approaches.
Last year, the Lakers shook up their roster before the deadline with a flurry of moves before going 18-9 in the second half. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has to make a move again as the Lakers continue to hover around .500.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.