LeBron James

USA Today

Rough Start For LeBron's Lakers

Yes, they’re 0-3. Last year’s team started 2-2. Which team would you rather have?

October 23, 2018 - 11:28 am

The Los Angeles Lakers got their day off to a pretty good start yesterday when they found out that Brandon Ingram was only going to be suspended for four games and Rajon Rondo was getting three. I’m going to argue that those punishments really don’t fit those crimes; not when the crimes were starting a brawl and spitting in a dude’s face, (allegedly) respectively. 

But the fact that Ingram admitted to being pleasantly surprised by his suspension tells you he knows he got over. But it also meant that the Lakers were going to have to

Start Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma, not exactly ideal when you’re 0-2 and the Spurs are coming to your house.

And last night’s 143-142, come from behind, come from ahead overtime loss to the Spurs was most definitely less than ideal for Laker fans. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t highlights. There was Kuzma going for 37 points and 8 rebounds. There was rookie big Johnathan Williams coming up on the defensive end. Plus the comeback from down eight just over a minute remaining in regulation. 

And then there was that moment.

You know the one I’m talking about. LA down three with less than ten seconds left. And the ball in LeBron’s hands. Roll it.

Of course. It was never going to be another way. There was no way that wasn’t going down and there was no way Staples wasn’t going to explode after that. Send the game to overtime and then win it in overtime. That would be a truly incredible way to get your first win as a Laker. 

Except it didn’t happen that way. The Lakers had a lead late in overtime. Everything looked perfect. And then it fell apart. LeBron missed two free throws with 11 seconds left and then a long jumper at the buzzer that would’ve been the game winner. 

So now LA is 0-3. And I’m guessing you’re expecting me to clown Laker fans and Car Flag Nation for getting their hopes up. Hell no. That’s not what this is about.

Yes, there are going to be some fools running around claiming that LA’s season is over already. That the playoffs are out of reach and it’s time to start thinking about next year. And that might be one of the worst takes ever. 

Yes, they’re 0-3. Last year’s team started 2-2. Which team would you rather have? 

The year before that, they were 6-4, so I can only assume these same dopes that are panicking now were planning a parade that year. Too bad they went from starting 6-4 to finishing 26-56.  

The Lakers, with a totally new roster, have played three games, all against playoff teams, and they’ve lost every game. That’s fine. There is absolutely no reason to panic. It’s not like they’ve been steamrolled. 

As LeBron has said, this isn’t instant oatmeal. 

And by the way, have you checked out some of the other teams? OKC: 0-3. Utah: 1-2. Houston: 1-2. Boston: 2-2.  Think anyone is panicking in those cities? Again, the season is one week old. It is absolutely no time to panic for anyone. 

LA battled back last night and sent the game to overtime when it was pretty much dead. And then in overtime, got up, and choked it away. That will happen when you’re overhauling on the fly like this.  

They have a totally new roster that needs time together and then on top of that, they’re missing two starters last night, so that totally new roster got completely shaken up again. That instant oatmeal just got hit with some cold water. 

The issues with the Lakers so far are exactly what everyone expected all along – defense and outside shooting. There’s nothing new here. LeBron didn’t have his best game last night and they still nearly got the win. 

Honestly, this team is further along than I expected. The Lakers minus two starters against the Spurs looked like it had disaster written all over it... But it didn’t. Kuzma and Ball battled their asses off and combined for 51 points. LeBron had a quiet first half and he still took them to overtime. 

In other words, this team battles. They’re still figuring out the chemistry, but they know how to fight. While the defensive end is ugly, there is a lot to like about this team. And I’m talking about more than just the fact that they’re entertaining. 

Yes, 0-3 isn’t what anyone was hoping for, but when you saw that opening trio of at Portland, home versus Houston and home versus San Antonio, what did you expect? 1-2, maybe? 

But if you want to panic and run with that lame junk, you go ahead and do that. I’ll hang out here. If they’re still winless in December, then we can talk.