For the first time since the 2012-2013 season, the Los Angeles Lakers have clinched a playoff spot, as they are currently the first seed in the Western Conference. On Saturday morning, the Brooklyn Nets announced that the team was mutually parting ways with head coach Kenny Atkinson.
After a 37-point, eight-rebound, eight-assist performance against reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the first seed Milwaukee Bucks, who were the first team this season to clinch a playoff spot, LeBron James continues to show his MVP caliber dominance. James was joined by Anthony Davis in the offseason, who is averaging 26.6 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per game in his first season as an NBA Finals contender.
The Lakers are now 48-13 and five and a half games ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers. Both teams play on Sunday afternoon. This game was originally supposed to be played earlier in the season, but the passing of Lakers’ legend Kobe Bryant occurred the day before, prompting the teams to postpone the game until a later date.
Last season, Atkinson led the Nets to a surprising playoff appearance. The young core spent the whole season enjoying the time together and showing why chemistry is important.
This season, the roster was gutted, as new faces walked into the locker room. Kevin Durant has missed the whole season with an Achilles injury, while Kyrie Irving has been in and out of the lineup. Both stars wanted to play together and orchestrated their way into the Nets organization.
Irving recommends Tyrone Lue as the next head coach, who he won a championship with as a member of the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers, who overcame a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. The team has yet to hire the replacement for the 28-34 Nets.