NBA Western Power Rankings Week 4: Warriors make history

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Nov 22, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell (1) and forward Kobe Bryant (24) on the bench in the second half of the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

15th: Los Angeles Lakers

By Tom West

Record: 2-11

Record last week: 1-3

There were three unanimous picks in our Western Conference power rankings this week. The Warriors are an easy top choice, the Spurs are a clear 2nd, and the Lakers were, yet again, everyone’s pick for 15th. Despite the extreme promise of Julius Randle, the sparks of scoring from Jordan Clarkson, and Marcelo Huertas’ comedic value, the Lakers just aren’t close to being a good team.

They have no identity right now, and feature a host of high volume, low efficiency scorers who love to shoot. Kobe Bryant, Nick Young and Lou Williams all being on the same team just isn’t a good mix. With Kobe and Williams both shooting 33.1 percent, that much is clear.

While D’Angelo Russell has potential, he hasn’t shown too much so far. Primarily, it’s defense is where his lacking athleticism lets him down. The Lakers’ offense just really isn’t a good system for him to succeed in, though, and head coach Byron Scott hasn’t done a good job of managing his team at all. Now, they’re stuck at 28th in the NBA in both offensive and defensive efficiency.

They’re officially 15th place in the Western right now, and by the way things are going, it looks like they’ll be competing with the New Orleans Pelicans for a while yet. With Kobe well and truly on the losing side to father time, that much is certain.

Next: New Orleans Pelicans