The Los Angeles Lakers got off to rough start in the 2018-19 season but have since rebounded with an improved stretch. All eyes are on the franchise after LeBron James joined, giving them their first superstar since Kobe Bryant retired.
Unfortunately, the team started 0-3 and after back-to-back wins, then dropped two in a row before getting back in the win column against the Dallas Mavericks. L.A. has since won five of their last six games.
Obviously, it is still very early in the season with plenty of time for the Lakers to continue improving. And there is still belief in the roster, both from inside and outside the organization. One major believer is Bryant himself.
He spoke to Jerry Bembry of The Undefeated, and said the Lakers have built the right team to challenge the Golden State Warriors:
“The Lakers are going to surprise a lot of people. Rob [Pelinka, the Lakers’ general manager], has smartly built a team of physical players. Big, versatile, fast, physical players. He understands that if you want to challenge Golden State, you can’t challenge them with shooting. That’s what they do.”
Bryant also didn’t hesitate when asked whether the Lakers would make the NBA Playoffs this season:
“Oh, God, yes. C’mon.”
Despite some of the issues so far, the franchise is not ready to hit the panic button. The team endured suspensions of Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo, which delayed developing chemistry.
As Kobe noted, the Lakers have a roster of versatile, physical players who can switch around a lot on defense and cause problems. Shooting has been a problem early on for the team, but there is time for that to improve and make Bryant look good on his prediction.