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Lonzo Ball thinks Lakers could have won NBA championship last season

Dunk Wire logo Dunk Wire 9/20/2019 Jacob Rude
a group of football players on a field: USA TODAY © USA TODAY USA TODAY

Count Lonzo Ball as the latest member of the 2018-19 Lakers to cite injuries as having upended the season. Ball, who missed more games than any Laker last season, recently did a radio interview with Big Boy on Real 92.3 and was asked whether Los Angeles could have won the title last season.

"I thought we had a good chance, honestly. Looking back on it, we were moving in the right direction and then 'Bron went down, Rondo went down, I went down, B.I. went down, so it was just like … there was a point we were looking at the stands for people because we ain't got no bodies."

It not new information that the Lakers were snake-bitten by injuries last season. Ball was one of five Lakers to miss at least 20 games and one of three players to miss 30 games through either suspension or injury. In total last year, the Lakers lost 219 man games or an average of 2.6 players missing per game last year.

But as Ball mentioned, the timing of the injuries was particularly damaging. Not only did they come in quick succession, decimating the team for the second half of the season, but they also came at a time when the Lakers were peaking.

The Christmas performance at Golden State was one of the best games the Lakers played all season. But both LeBron James and Rajon Rondo were lost in that contest, Ball got injured before either player returned and Brandon Ingram would miss the final 19 games of the year.

It's probably a stretch to say the team could have won the title last season at full health but considering they were hardly at full health last year, there isn't much of a sample size available. One of the few games the team did have the majority of the roster available was on Christmas against the Warriors, a game in which the Lakers won 127-101.

Whether the Lakers could have contended for a title is a question that'll never have an answer as the team rebuilt the roster this off-season but what is very evident is a potentially exciting, young Laker team with James was robbed of what could have been a fun season.

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