It took four games, but LeBron James finally notched his first win as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers in a 131-113 victory over the Phoenix Suns in the first of a back-to-back.
Want to get your content COMPLETELY AD FREE? Follow us on Apple News!
Despite being competitive against the Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs, the Lakers failed to close out those games. It was a clear sign of a team still learning how to play with one another and develop an identity.
As James put together another all-around effort with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists, he received plenty of help as six other Lakers finished in double-figures against the Suns.
While the 33-year-old has accomplished a lot in his future Hall of Fame career, he admitted it felt great to finally get his first win as a Laker. “It feels great to win period,” James acknowledged.
“It feels good for us to know what we’ve been doing over training camp and these first few games to continue to get better. I think we’ve gotten better tonight and we want to try and continue that moving forward.”
As the Lakers have proven an ability to score with the best of them, James believes there are two keys to winning games moving forward. “We’re very talented offensively, but I think it’s always going to start with our defense,” he said.
“If we’re able to rebound as a collective group, we have the speed, we have a lot of ball-handlers, and we have a lot of unselfish guys that can move the ball and get guys open shots.”
With eight new players and two rotation players serving their suspensions, it is going to take time for the Lakers to establish an identity. As they adjust to the league’s new rules, a team full of tough playmakers is what president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka envisioned.
Although the Suns will likely be one of the worst teams in the league, the Lakers showed their potential with consistent ball movement and defensive effort.