The energy surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers going into last season was a completely different one than this year. Last year saw a roster that didn’t fit around Anthony Davis and LeBron James combined with a first year head coach in Darvin Ham, which ultimately led to a very slow start to the season.
The front office would remake the roster on the fly during the trade deadline with the Lakers eventually turning things around and making a run to the Western Conference Finals. After what has been universally praised as an excellent offseason, the Lakers now come into this year with championship expectations and Davis believes the continuity the Lakers maintained from last year has helped them hit the ground running.
Davis spoke on that chemistry and feeling that once the ball goes up on Opening Night, the Lakers will be ready as opposed to trying to figure each other out, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“We feel like we had three seasons into one last year. Start of the season, then the trade deadline and then going to the playoffs. Couple different teams, couple different schemes and stuff. But I think having all our guys back it’ll help build that chemistry and put everything together during camp so when we go into game one on the 24th we’ll be ready and not trying to figure things out.”
The Lakers star would continue on, adding that the chemistry and comfort level between the players and Ham also allows the team to keep building and that overall everyone is comfortable with each other:
“Very comfortable. Any time you get a year under your belt and you get to talk about things that we can be better at, things that we like, things that we want to include based off last year and also just the personnel that we have.
“It’s a little different, the same but a little different. Every year that he has, the next year, the year after you just wanna keep building and keep getting better and better and that’ll come over time. But having that first year, his first year as a head coach, trying to figure things out and our first year with a new coaching staff as far as me and Bron, trying to figure things out. So this year has been a lot more fluid.”
Unlike last season, everyone knows what is expected of them individually and as a team overall and the Lakers brought in players who fit that vision of what they want to accomplish. The Lakers’ starting point this season is much higher than a year ago and that should allow them to start this year strong from day one.
Darvin Ham calls Anthony Davis the ‘heart and soul’ of the Lakers
To many, the success of the Lakers this season will be contingent on Davis taking that next step and truly becoming the leader of this team. Ham believes the big man is doing just that, and called him the heart and soul of the Lakers.
“I see a level of focus that’s infectious. He’s been phenomenal,” Ham said following the team’s recent preseason game. “Obviously, some of the games he put together during last year some of the stretches he had, just all-around unbelievable. He’s the heart and soul of our team.”
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