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NBA -- Silver linings in the purple-and-gold's gloomy season


PhilBoxing.com




LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers' franchise-worst regular season ended the way it began --- with a loss. This time, it was a 23-point beating at the hands of the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night at Staples Center.

The 122-99 defeat was the Lakers' 61st of the season, the most ever in the history of the storied franchise.

Instead of their usual place in the playoffs, Kobe Bryant and the wounded Lakers are headed off to an early vacation.

Despite the this temporary fall from grace, the Lakers had several bright spots, most prominently the rise of rookie point guard Jordan Clarkson, who shrugged off a slow start to average 16.9 points and 3.5 assists per game in 59 outings.

And though the losses kept piling up, the Lakers faithful kept showing up at Staples Center, making them among the top 10 in the league in attendance.
On Wednesday's game alone, the Lakers drew a fat crowd of 18,997.

Looking over their shoulders with the success of the other Los Angeles team -- the Clippers -- the Lakers are ferociously intent on rebuilding, a path that includes opening a Laker-owned facility in 2016.

Cresting at the bottom 5 of the NBA standings doesn't necessarily mean the world comes to an end for the decorated Lakers. It just means there is hope in their future. It also means they could have the top 5 pick in the upcoming NBA, which means a healthy Julius Randle and a rising Clarkson could be the core of the next generation of Showtime performers.

And lastly, it could mean that what is expected to be Kobe Bryant's last season could be a magical rise.

The 2015-16 season is a good few months away. Can't hardly wait.

Photo: Jordan Clarkson provided some bright spots in the Lakers' gloomy 2014-15 campaign.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Nicholai R. Roska.


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