About a quarter of the way through the NBA season, both LeBron James and Anthony Davis have expressed their thoughts on the Lakers’ year so far.
About 25% of the time the Lakers started this season was certainly not ideal for the Lakers, but not like last season. Despite the team’s poor performance since last year, the Lakers have fought hard and achieved significantly higher quality and greater quantity of wins.
The Lakers are 11-9 on the season after losing to the Thunder on Thursday. It was a frustrating loss, but one the team has become familiar with in the opening weeks. Shorthanded and struggling with both the schedule and environment, the Lakers had a good college try, but were no match.
If the same player is out for that period, that’s one thing. But through the first 20 games, D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves and Christian Wood are the only players who haven’t missed at least one game. In fact, LeBron James and Anthony Davis have only missed one game each.
after that? It’s a revolving door. Especially on the wing, the Lakers have had players come and go on their roster. The depth the team touted in the preseason was one of the reasons they were able to stay consistent early on.
These injuries make it difficult to assess the overall situation of the team. After the loss to the Thunder, LeBron was asked if he had a clearer understanding of the team in these 20 games.
“I don’t know what we are,” LeBron said. “How? We don’t have a group yet. I know what some of us are like individually, but as far as a team, we don’t have our team yet. We haven’t logged enough time on our team that we know we There’s a starting group, we’ve got guys (benchmen), we’re in a good rhythm. We’re over .500. We’re 11-9 and barely have the same group. “That’s really impressive. “
It’s not fun for a team with championship aspirations to go 11-9 and call it impressive, but it’s also true. This is very much a patchwork roster trying to use what’s available to stay competitive.
However, staying competitive means they can’t compete with the best teams. The Lakers were defeated by the Magic, 76ers and Thunder, all three teams in the top half of the standings in their respective conferences.
They are undefeated against teams above .500 (6-0) and have struggled even more against teams above .500 (5-9). That’s a trend the AD discussed after Wednesday’s game against the Pistons.
“I think we’re staying afloat, winning the games we should win but also losing the games we think we should win,” Davis said. “But I mean, I think through 20 games, obviously we’re It felt like we could have done better. We could have won the games we lost, but we were OK, especially with some of our top players not being fully healthy. So, I feel like we’re in a good spot. “
The good news is, happier days appear to be on the horizon. The vast majority of the Lakers players on the injury report are very close to returning, finally getting a real look at what the Lakers are like for the first time this season.
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