Going into the 2017-18 season, expectations were high for the Los Angeles Lakers after an offseason that saw them add key free agents in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Andrew Bogut, Brook Lopez via a trade and four rookies through the draft.
That is all in addition to their young core of Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson all working hard to get better this offseason.
The season did not get off to a good start though, as the Lakers were blown out by the Los Angeles Clippers in their season-opener Thursday night.
Luckily for the Lakers though, they had an opportunity to get back on the floor Friday night as they traveled to the Phoenix Suns. The result was much better in that game, as they hung on for a 132-130 victory.
After the game, Ingram was very candid in saying that the team’s main goal was to redeem themselves, via the Lakers official Twitter account:
Brandon Ingram (25p): “We wanted to come out & redeem ourselves. That’s not the identity we wanted to show in our 1st regular-season game.”
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 21, 2017
Ingram had one of the best games of his young career, as he scored a career-high 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting. He and rookie Lonzo Ball led the way in the victory, with Ball narrowly missing a triple-double with 29 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.
While Thursday night’s game was tough to watch, it may end up being a blessing in disguise as a ton of pressure was taken off the Lakers as far as expectations go. That looked to be the case against the Suns as everybody played more free and loose.
The Lakers return to the court on Sunday when they host the New Orleans Pelicans hoping to move to 2-1 on the season.