The only way this Los Angeles Lakers season will be a much more successful one than last year will be if LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook can get on the same page and really build chemistry with one another.
The first look at the Lakers this preseason saw some positive signs about what new head coach Darvin Ham is trying to accomplish with his offensive scheme. While there were still some struggles, Davis was glad to get out on the floor with his teammates and get that time in together, especially with the constant trade rumors surrounding Westbrook.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Davis said when asked if it felt good to be on the court with Westbrook and LeBron. “Especially with all the stuff that was going on in the summer and you know, even now, I mean it’s good for us to get out there and just play basketball. It gets gets kind of boring when you’re playing against each other all camp, so it’s good to get some get some bump against another team and see our stuff work, our execution and things like that.”
“And we have some plays where all three of us are involved and we got some good looks out of it. So it was really good to see us three out there and competing and on the floor again.”
Davis had the best night of the three, notching a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds in just 16 minutes while also adding a pair of 3-pointers and looking much closer to the 2020 version of himself that helped bring the Lakers a championship.
Westbrook had a couple of positive flashes for the Lakers as well, finishing with five points and three assists in 15 minutes while LeBron struggled from the floor, missing all seven of his shots from the field, but hitting 4-of-5 from the free throw line to finish with four points on the night.
But for James, much like Davis, it was all about the trio getting that time together on the floor. “Like I told you guys at Media Day, it’s all about time,” LeBron added. “The more time and the more minutes we can log on the floor, the more and more comfortable we can become. Like I said last year, 23 games is not enough to even see what we’re capable of. So hopefully we can surpass that this year.”
The Lakers led by five at the half before all three sat out the entire second half. Unfortunately the reserves were dominated and the Lakers would drop their preseason opener to the Sacramento Kings by 30. But Davis, Westbrook and LeBron believe they can build off of this and the more time they have on the court together, the more can figure out how to succeed together.
Ham praises efforts of Davis, James and Westbrook
Overall, Ham was encouraged by what he saw from his superstar trio of James, Davis and Westbrook and believes better success is yet to come.
“I thought it was great,” the head coach said. “They allowed themselves to help one another. Like I said, we have a three series that involves all three of them. Half-court play call. I think they’re going to thrive. There’s so many different nuances that they can approach out of that set that’s going to enhance all of their games and sort of allow them to share the load, so to speak.
“So, I love it. I love what I saw. It was good. That first half was really, really, really, really, really good. And that, albeit LeBron [James] not having a good shooting night. But we’ll get better. We’ll keep getting better for sure.”
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