Nick Whalen and Alex Barutha weigh in on the fantasy takeaways as seeding games come to a close this week.
The three best teams before the shutdown – the Lakers, Clippers and Bucks – have each experienced varying degrees of struggles in Orlando, but the Lakers' are the most concerning. While they righted the ship, to some degree, in Monday's win over the Nuggets, LA has looked out of sorts on the offensive end. Per 100 possessions, the Lakers rank dead-last in Orlando in scoring, made threes, field goal percentage and three-point percentage, while ranking second-to-last in assists and free throw percentage. In other words: the Lakers have the worst offense in the bubble – even worse than the 0-7 Washington Wizards.
It all starts with LeBron James, who, before Monday's game, was averaging just 21.6 points on 45.2 percent shooting – including 28.6 percent from three. James has also struggled at the line, and his decision-making has lacked the confidence we're used to seeing. Like James, Anthony Davis looked much better Monday night. But prior to that, Davis was alternating between imitations of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar one night and Eddy Curry (sorry, Eddy) the next. Three of Davis' six lowest-scoring games have come in the bubble, including an eight-point abomination against the Pacers in which he got to the line only twice in 35 minutes.
Come playoff time, bet against two of the league's top 10 players at your own risk. But there's no debating that the