Since the Los Angeles Lakers decided to overhaul the roster around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, it’s placed a significant adjustment period ahead. The front office brought aboard a strong group of veteran talent, shifting the focus toward building on-court chemistry. Before the season opener on Tuesday night, James voiced he believes the Lakers have already accomplished a crucial goal.
Lakers go winless in the preseason
After a busy summer retooling the roster, the Lakers ventured through the preseason, working through plenty of adjustments.
As expected, Los Angeles showed flashes of promise while demonstrating the need to build on-court chemistry. It led to much of the spotlight on Russell Westbrook’s struggles as he committed 23 turnovers in preseason action while the Lakers went winless in the six games.
Meanwhile, James closed out the preseason with a strong performance, notching 30 points, six rebounds, and six assists. Los Angeles’ inability to secure a single win isn’t concerning, but it’s quite evident the team needs time to get their roster acclimated.
It may only be exhibition play, but the Lakers received an early dose of what the adjustment process will be ahead as they attempt to push toward competing for an NBA title. Beyond that, James voiced an encouraging note about what the team has already accomplished before beginning next season.
LeBron James believes Lakers’ winless preseason still helped them accomplish a crucial goal before the 2021-22 season-opener
The Lakers’ roster overhaul presents a significant challenge to push toward vying for the 2022 NBA title.
Los Angeles must find their playing style that best suits the veteran-laden group to reach the lofty expectations ahead. Although the team is facing an uphill task, LeBron James recently voiced that he believes the team has already accomplished the massive goal of continuing to build chemistry.
“I think we built our chemistry as the games went on and on and on,” James said Via Lakers Nation. “We’re starting to learn each other, try to learn each other every quarter, every time we were out on the floor. So that was the biggest thing that we can build from the games that we played.”
The Lakers may not have grabbed a single preseason win, but the team showcased continued improvement. Westbrook showed increasing comfort on the floor alongside James and Davis, putting forth his best performance in the finale against the Sacramento Kings.
Los Angeles has limited together for their reconfigured roster, especially with their Big 3 playing together for only the last two preseason games. It’s a process that will take time, but the team already has the building blocks to work off to find the cohesion to push toward garnering consistent success.
Los Angeles must exercise patience with building chemistry
The reality of the situation in Los Angeles is that the team faces a significant adjustment period ahead.
The Lakers‘ Big 3 played in limited preseason action together while the team is already dealing with injuries. Trevor Ariza and Talen Hoton-Tucker will miss the next several weeks, and Wayne Ellington is working through a nagging leg ailment.
Westbrook faces the biggest challenge as his fast-paced playing style will change some as he embraces being the third scorer and more of a distributor.
“It’s a learning curve for them just as it is for me,” Westbrook said via Lakers Youtube page. “I get to learn what other pace that people best operate at. It also gives me time to adjust my pace, but at the same time, find ways to implement what I do well, which is push the pace and use my speed to my advantage. It’s going to be a process. Adversity is a big thing to have and it’s something you should take on and figure out how to fix it right away.”
The adjustment will be much more than Westbrook finding his spot within the system. Meanwhile, the Lakers must find the best combination of the supporting cast around their star talent. Los Angeles certainly holds time on their side to figure it out, but the clock will officially start on Tuesday night.