All things considered, the Los Angeles Lakers have wildly underperformed to start the season. Sitting at 22-23, the Lakers currently own the 8th-seed out West, maintaining just a half-game lead over a depleted LA Clippers team in the standings. This level of poor play has generated reports that indicate head coach Frank Vogel may lose his job. Along with these reports, much of the criticism has also fallen at the feet of Russell Westbrook. According NBA on TNT analyst Charles Barkley, the blame should not be relegated to those two.
On a recent TNT segment, Barkley said, "The way they have tried to throw Russell Westbrook and Frank Vogel under the bus is just really pissing me off." Barkley continued by saying that "They're blaming Frank Vogel and Russell Westbrook. Listen, the people up top, who put that trash together, are running and hiding like cowards... You put all them old geezers out there."
Barkley went on to add that Stanley Johnson has been the Lakers' second-best player recently, after LeBron James, which indicates a clear issue in roster construction. For Barkley, the blame belongs to those who constructed this Lakers roster, not the head coach, or even Russell Westbrook. This seems to be the belief amongst most analysts; however, both Westbrook and Vogel have received a majority of the criticism for the team's poor start to the season.
Coming off of a bad loss to the Indiana Pacers, the Lakers will look to get back on track against an abysmal Orlando Magic team on Friday.