With well over a month of the NBA season already in the books, it’s clear that the Los Angeles Lakers are a talented team. But, much like any that’s home to the world’s greatest player in LeBron James, there are adjustments to be made.
Through the first 21 games, the Lakers are 12-9 with some excellent wins, such as respective four- and nine-point victories against the Portland Trail Blazers earlier this month. They’ve also had some head-scratching losses, like the two to the Orlando Magic within one week of each other.
Through it all though, one thing has remained constant: James has been playing excellent basketball. And with Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson saying he doesn’t want the team to become the Cleveland Cavaliers all over again, point guard Lonzo Ball believes there is a formula to being successful when playing with James.
“Everybody just has to know their role.” Ball said after their shaky win against the Indiana Pacers. “We have scorers, we have rebounders, guys who set screens, and also we have the best player in the world. Do you role. Don’t try to do too much, and everything is going to workout OK.”
This formula seems simple enough, and after a 2-5 start, it seems to be one that the whole team has figured out, even if there may be concerns that James is being asked to do too much. At the end of the day, James is basketball’s best player, so it only makes sense that the Lakers would need a lot out of him to be successful.
Perhaps some of these concerns will go away when Rajon Rondo returns from his hand surgery, as his absence has been when James’ usage rate has been the highest. But even if they don’t, the Lakers will simply have to do as Ball says and don’t try to do too much.