With only three returning players on the roster, one of the biggest hurdles for the Los Angeles Lakers this season will be coming together as a whole and truly developing chemistry. Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and the rest of the new additions will have to figure out how they will all fit next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
So far through the team’s first two preseason games, it is apparent that everything isn’t clicking yet, which is to be expected. James and Westbrook have yet to take the floor, which will help alleviate things, but there are a lot of little things that the Lakers need to come together, as Anthony recently spoke to.
“Nah, just overall,” Anthony said following the team’s preseason game against the Phoenix Suns. “At this point in time in the season, it’s just about figuring it out and getting the kinks out. Trying to get everybody back on the court at one time… We’re just getting through it, man. Second preseason game. Two weeks into training camp, preseason. We’ll figure it out.”
Anthony obviously isn’t concerned as the team has barely been together with just a week of training camp. Expecting them to be at championship level at this stage simply isn’t feasible. It’s a process, and Carmelo understands that it will take some time.
“I don’t know, man. These things don’t happen overnight,” Anthony added. “I thought we had a great training camp, I thought we had a great week and a half, two weeks. As far as the game goes, it is what it is. Some things that we have to worry about, some things we have to work on we will work on. But once you get the group back and intact, then you start seeing what’s going on and what we need to get better at.
“There’s some things now that we got to keep working on, get better at. Our communication. Being in the right position, being in the right spots. It’s just an effort thing. A feel for each other. Understanding what certain guys like to do out there.”
This is where getting Westbrook and, especially James back will help tremendously. Not only are they the team’s two primary playmakers, but LeBron is a master at making sure players are in the right position at all times.
Things will be different once those two players return but in the meantime, Anthony says the Lakers just need to keep playing ball.
“You just play basketball. You just play ball,” Carmelo noted. “But you also want to keep in mind that some of the guys are not here, some of the guys are not playing. So you don’t want to try to do something that you don’t need to do or do too much and overdo it. Because when they come back, you want to be right and you want to be in a position to do your best.”
It is far too early to make any judgments on this Lakers team especially without two of their three stars. It will be a long process for things to come together, but Anthony and the rest of the Lakers will put in all the necessary work to ensure it happens.
Anthony believes Lakers will figure out Vogel’s defensive schemes
The area in which the Lakers will have to lock in is on the defensive end. That side of the floor has been Frank Vogel’s calling card for his career and Anthony believes that end will take time to come together just like anything else.
“I think it’s just Coach Vogel’s schemes,” Anthony said. “The new defensive schemes we want to put in that we’ve been implementing, I think it’s very simple. It’s not hard. Lots of clarity. It’s not a one-on-one defense that we’re creating that we’re putting in. This is team defense. This is knowing your space, knowing your spots, knowing your reads and that’s going to take some time to kind of just to get in sync where we know where everybody is going to be at.
“We know rotations before they even happen… So that’s going to take some time. Not too much time, but that’s going to get guys coming back to together playing actually in games and not just in practice and us figuring that out.”
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