Even with the addition of LeBron James this summer, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton has the same priorities for his team: lock in on defense, push the pace, and play unselfish basketball.
Through two preseason games, the Lakers have taken that last one very seriously, almost to a fault. The Lakers have totaled 54 assists thus far, but there were a couple of possessions in the second contest where they took things a little too far.
“There was a few possessions from both units, I thought they were messing with me; they passed so many times, and a lot of them had open shots,” Walton said about his team. “In the preseason, 100 percent I’ll take that.”
LeBron agreed with Walton on both counts. “We were a little too unselfish, but that’s good for us,” James said following Tuesday’s loss.
“Right now, as we continue to learn one another, we want to make the extra pass, go from a good shot to a great shot. Some of them we felt we gave the ball up a little bit too much but it’s going to be good for our team in the long run.”
There were some beautiful moments in both games where the Lakers got themselves some easy baskets due to beautiful ball movement, but it also cost them the in the end. Down two points, the Lakers had a chance to win the game, but ran out of time after both Joel Berry IV and Isaac Bonga passed up shots looking to find a better look.
It was a learning experience to be sure, but what the Lakers are trying to accomplish is clear. It’s not only the best way for the Lakers to be successful, but as Brandon Ingram believes, it’s enjoyable for all.
“That’s the fun way to play,” he said. “When you’re trying to find the open guy and get the best shot for the team.”