The Lakers have 5 problems way bigger than Russell Westbrook and Frank Vogel

The Los Angeles Lakers entered the season as the betting favorites to win the Western Conference. The only team with better odds to win the 2022 NBA championship was the Brooklyn Nets. Such strong preseason belief required a huge leap of faith given how the previous year ended — LA finished with the No. 7 seed in the West and was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Phoenix Suns — but clearly the memory of the Lakers claiming the 2020 NBA championship inside the bubble was still fresh in people’s minds.

There were two main reasons to believe in the Lakers coming into the season.

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