At 13-9, the Lakers have managed to string together some impressive wins but have also lost games they should have come away with. Still, being above .500 is still an accomplishment given the roster turnover in the offseason.
James has already demonstrated how great he can be, but it is the chemistry and overall play of the team that should be the primary focus of the group going forward. President of basketball of operations Magic Johnson preached patience before the season began, and Los Angeles is still a team that is a work in progress.
Despite the up and down play, Walton is still satisfied with how his team has performed so far, according to Matthew Moreno of Lakers Nation:
“We did our 10-game breakdown and where we were, defensively mainly, for the first 10 and where we are now, it’s gotten a lot better,” he said after practice.
“It’s a good way to kind of measure what we’re doing and where we’re going to. The numbers we have, we need to be consistent with them and continue to value those things as the season goes. Our offensive numbers have dropped. We were top-five offense in the first 10, now we’ve gone in the top-five defense. Now we kind of have to level that out a little bit in these next 10.”
The loss of Rajon Rondo and signing of Tyson Chandler may have something to do with the numbers Walton referenced. However, all things considered, those are solid numbers given the makeup and construction of the roster.
Still, the Lakers are nowhere near the team they could potentially be. The young core is still adjusting to having someone like James to play off of, but they should soon find their footing given how much success they had in the previous season.
After a dispiriting loss to the Denver Nuggets, the purple and gold have responded back with wins over the Indiana Pacers and Dallas Mavericks. Hopefully, they can continue their improvement over the next 20 games.