The Lakers’ continued buildup will take some time

The Lakers’ continued buildup will take some time

Gary A. Vasquez-USA Today Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are two games into a long 82-game regular season, and are in the process of incorporating several new pieces around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Even the returnees to this year’s team largely arrived in Los Angeles at the trade deadline last season, making them relatively new to the system.

The Lakers are expected to compete for a championship in the 2023-2024 season, and part of the process will be the team’s integration together over the course of the season. So far, things have looked somewhat disjointed on the offensive end, but a great defensive effort against the Phoenix Suns has them tied at 1-1 through two games.

James is no stranger to building chemistry with a new team, having done so several times over his 21-year career. His last championship with the Lakers was in the 2019-20 season with a roster that included almost all new players. So, while the Lakers may not have elite chemistry and teamwork just yet, James isn’t worried.

“I mean it’s not where I want it to be, but that’s OK,” James said of the L.A. continuity. “We’re looking to be where we want to go down the road. We’ve got new pieces that we’re trying to integrate into the system that you know, so it’s going to take time. The coaches are still tinkering with lineups, and things like that are on the floor as you see different lineups tonight.”

“Our fourth quarter lineup with Gabe (Vincent), AD, C-Wood, myself, AR and or DLo at one point. That was one of the first times we had that rivalry on the floor at the same time, I think certainly in any game with Gabe, AR, myself, C-Wood, and AD. We’re still trying to figure out what lineups work well for us and what combinations work well. You know, as we continue to follow the games and any film sessions and things like that, we’ll see that we’ll work where the minutes are logged when We’re playing our best basketball and we’ll be able to get better from that. I mean it’s going to take time. I don’t think I can say not where we want to be but that’s okay. Because I know there’s no way we have to be where I want us to be. be now.

Even so, James sees a lot of positivity with the Lakers so far. But James is not one to stick solely to praise, as with the positive outlook has come some significant areas of improvement that he already sees.

“There’s a lot to like, but I’m thinking about how we meet the challenge. I think early in the game, we weren’t playing to our ability. We gave up a lot of extra points, a lot of second-chance points. We know that killed us in Denver two nights ago.” “He was killing us in the first half. We made the adjustment. We talked about it, and we got it done.”

“We know that in order to win this game, we had to face the challenge defensively. And we took the challenge and we accomplished it. So it’s always nice to know that you’re going to go up against someone, get on your team, challenge your teammates. You’re able to make the shift and make the change. And not take “It’s personal. We’re all professionals. We all want to win. We have one common goal, which is to win and compete at a high level every night. So I love how we can challenge each other and apply it that way.”

James has never been one to panic about any flaws in the team in the first phase of the regular season. In fact, many of his best teams didn’t perform well in the first half and managed to kick things into high gear when it mattered most.

It remains to be seen if the Lakers have a similar trajectory, but it is clear that James has faith in what the team can be at its best.

James discusses going beyond the soft minutes limit

James played 35 minutes in the Lakers’ win over the Suns after discussion that he would be limited to about 28-30 minutes per game. Reports indicate that the 28-30 number is more than just a guideline, and that was proven Thursday when James played more out of necessity.

“He asked me if I could go to the quarter-finals. I looked at the time and the score and what was happening in the game, and the answer was easy for me,” James said. “I know how much work I put in to be able to play the quarter-finals or whatever the case may be, and I realize We definitely have a system in place. But tonight calls me to step outside the box today. Coach Hamm was great. … He was able to use those things wisely to get rest, rest the team, and it felt very refreshing going forward. … Coach trusted me and I had to go out there and prove it.

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