The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t exactly gotten off to the start that they were hoping for. With an admittedly difficult opening stretch to the 2018-19 season, they are under .500, which is underwhelming for a team that features the best player in the league, LeBron James.
A report revealed that Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson had a tense conversation with Walton in which he admonished the coach for the team’s slow start — specifically that Johnson felt there was a lack of identity on offense.
But should Walton’s job really be in jeopardy this early in the season? On this episode of the Lakers Nation News Feed, host Trevor Lane digs into the story to discuss everything that you need to know.
Given the circumstances surrounding the team, a 3-5 record may not actually be all that bad. After all, Walton was forced to change his starting lineup just two games into the season thanks to the suspensions of Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo following their fight with Chris Paul and the Houston Rockets.
Since then, Walton has experimented with different rotations, striving to find something that works. The Lakers have a number of new faces this year, including veterans like James, Rondo, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, and Michael Beasley as well as rookies like Moritz Wagner, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Isaac Bonga.
It takes time to develop the chemistry necessary to play (and especially defend) at the NBA level, so perhaps Walton deserves a little more slack. That said, with James in town, the expectations to win are real.
Heading into a difficult weekend which sees the Lakers play back-to-back on the road against the Portland Trailblazers and then at home against the red-hot Toronto Raptors, Walton will have to find a way to turn things around quickly despite the odds being stacked against him.