After a disappointing loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, the championship favorite Los Angeles Lakers find themselves at just 2-2 heading into the start of their first road trip of the season.
In their victories the Lakers look every bit the threat to repeat that many believe they are, but in their losses they’ve looked like a team with a number of new pieces who have yet to click, which also holds true.
Superstar big man Anthony Davis was a bit of a disappointment in Monday’s loss, shooting just 6-for-14 from the field and finishing with only 13 points. Additionally, the Lakers got little lift from their bench, which combined for only 23 points, a total that was eclipsed by the Blazers’ Gary Trent Jr. alone.
But despite the slow start, Davis is not concerned and believes his team will improve. “It’s been good. The first four, or three out of for for me, have been really good,” he said. “I think we’re going to be better. We’re still learning each other while we’re trying to win games.
“Marc is playing well, still trying to get Wes involved with the tam and get him acclimated, so I think we’re going to be fine. Dennis is finding his way, Trezz is finding his way and guys are still trying to get back into game rhythm.
“I think we’ll be fine. It’s a marathon, it’s only (been) four games. We’re 2-2, we played four great teams even though Minnesota didn’t have KAT and make the playoffs last year. They’re a team that’s pretty good to start the season.
“We’re going to be fine, we’re going to figure it out and continue to get better.”
The Lakers do have a difficult task as they try to incorporate new players into a rotation with those who have a bit more chemistry from last season’s championship run.
Montrezl Harrell, Dennis Schroder, Marc Gasol and Wesley Matthews have had varying degrees of success so far. While returning players such as Kyle Kuzma, Markieff Morris and Talen Horton-Tucker have to adjust to different roles as well.
Doing so with an extremely short training camp and preseason makes that task even more difficult to accomplish. This is a main reason why Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has said that he intends to use the team’s early games to get a good look at different lineup and rotation combinations and figure out what works best for this team.
Davis: Lakers chemistry already ‘pure and natural’
Though there is still plenty of work to be done on the court, the players themselves are clicking in general as the chemistry that was so great last season looks to be carried over into this year.
“We’re still trying to keep our chemistry the way it’s been,” Davis recently said. “We’re not trying to change anything, guys are still hanging out with each other, playing cards, going to the NBA-approved restaurants and things like that, while still following the safety protocols.
“If you follow me, Trezz, Dennis or Q.C. on Instagram, that chemistry is already there. We’re messing with each other and it’s all pure and natural. We all kind of clicked from Day 1, to be honest.”
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