Lakers lose first two at home for first time in franchise history, but that’s a very deceiving footnote

There are all the time wacky outcomes via the primary few weeks of an NBA season. Let’s maintain that in thoughts as we mood our reactions to the Lakers, who’ve misplaced the primary two video games of the season at residence for the primary time in franchise historical past, per ESPN Stats and Info

To start with, that is a deceiving notice. It sounds unhealthy for a workforce with as lengthy a historical past because the Lakers, however in actuality, the Lakers have solely opened their season with two straight residence video games seven occasions since 1970 and thrice because the flip of the century. 

Second of all, it is two video games. Towards two actually good groups. The Lakers did not look horrible on opening evening towards the Warriors (the truth is, LeBron James and Anthony Davis regarded unbelievable, which was a extra necessary takeaway than the consequence, frankly), and the Suns have been within the Finals final season. 

Clearly, the Phoenix loss was troubling. The Lakers trailed by 32 factors within the second half. Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard scuffled on the bench, apparently over a defensive miscue. There have been numerous these. However so long as we’re on the quantity two, it is the 2 gamers, wing gamers particularly, that the Lakers are lacking that’s hurting them most proper now. 

That will be Trevor Ariza and Talen Horton-Tucker. Kendrick Nunn being out would not assist both. It is a honest query why the Lakers did not spend extra of their offseason assets on wing depth as a substitute of overloading the point-guard spot with Russell Westbrook and Rajon Rondo and Nunn and Avery Bradley and signing DeAndre Jordan regardless of already having Dwight Howard, however they did not, and now they’re in a spot the place they need to play actually massive with Davis and both Jordan or Howard, or actually small with Davis on the 5 and iffy shooters round him. 

Taking part in small, the suspect taking pictures however is clearly the best way to go. Frank Vogel, presumably, will play extra this manner because the 12 months goes alongside, finessing Davis’ center-playing disdain to a manageable degree. And the Lakers will get some wing depth again. These are usually not season-ending accidents to Ariza and Horton-Tucker, although the Lakers are about two months with out them. 

This does not imply there is not trigger for concern. The Lakers seem like a greater workforce the sooner they play and the extra they fly round defensively, which they did late towards Phoenix to make the rating respectable, however they are a fairly previous unit to be going at that tempo all season. And the Westbrook downside is not going wherever. We needn’t get into that. You understand the deal. He cannot shoot however likes to shoot, and when he is not taking pictures and is off the ball, nicely, the protection is aware of he cannot shoot, so the spacing, which is already cramped for the Lakers, will get even worse. 

However once more, LeBron seems terrific. In the identical “it is solely two video games” spirit, let’s not overreact to his 3-point taking pictures up to now. However he’s 10-for-20 from downtown and appears as snug as ever down there. He is averaging slightly below 30 via the primary two. The Lakers, on the finish of the day, nonetheless have two MVP-level gamers, and that is all the time the place the optimism surrounding this workforce was centered. 

The sky is not falling. The Lakers shall be good. However Vogel does have to alter some issues up and Davis does have to hurry up his acceptance of the middle spot. Westbrook undoubtedly has to play higher. However these items have been all the time essential to the Lakers’ success. The Lakers want to remain afloat till Ariza and THT get again, which isn’t any small order within the West, however finally nothing has modified in two video games. | Lakers lose first two at residence for first time in franchise historical past, however that is a really deceiving footnote


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