LeBron James stressed an understanding that the Los Angeles Lakers would need time to develop chemistry and hit their stride this season. That looked to be all the more challenge considering their tough slate of early games.
Sure enough, the Lakers dropped their first three games of the season. They responded with consecutive wins but then suffered back-to-back losses on the road, dropping both games by four points.
Suspensions and Lakers head coach Luke Walton tinkering with lineups and rotations on his own accord have made it difficult to truly gauge the team. Though they stuck with the same big lineup for a second consecutive game, and it paid early dividends.
But despite jumping out ahead by as much as 18 points in the first quarter and leading by double-digits for most of the night, the Lakers needed a James free throw in the final seconds to hang on for the win.
“I like the way we played,” he said.
“I don’t like the way we closed out the game but for the majority of the game we played well; besides the second quarter and fourth quarter. But there’s a lot of things to learn from it.”
James’ sentiment that the Lakers continue to learning has been a common refrain from the front office and Walton alike. Just as James expressed, the third-year head coach was pleased with the Lakers’ play.
As for their nearly squandering another lead, Walton believes the game will serve as a learning experience.