LeBron James Not Worried About Struggles In Preseason Opener; Pleased With Lakers’ Defense
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James had a tough night in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 105-75 loss to the Sacramento Kings, but a defeat in the preseason opener it’s unlikely to cause him to lose any sleep.

The 37-year-old All-Star ended the clash with four points, one rebound and two assists, missing all of his seven shot attempts. He spent just under 16 minutes on the floor on Monday, sitting out the entire second half.

James said he’s had games before when his shots wouldn’t go in, adding that an off-shooting night in the preseason doesn’t bother him. “I just missed some shots tonight,” he said.

“I missed three layups, wide-open layups, a couple of 3s. I’ve been 0-for before, but I just played more. I’ve started a game where I’ve been like 0-for-9 before but I’ve played 35-40 minutes, I got an opportunity to get my rhythm. 15 minutes and it was over with [tonight], but that’s the last thing on my mind as far as makes or misses.”

James said he’s only focused on getting back in game shape and testing out different schemes over the next couple of weeks. “For me, it’s all about just getting in a rhythm and getting my conditioning,” he said.

“These are the easiest games and opportunities to obviously put in the stuff that we’ve been working on this last week, but just also getting my rhythm and getting my conditioning down while I’m on the court.”

On the other hand, James said he saw the Lakers play some good defense in the first half. He also disagreed with the notion that L.A. struggled offensively before heading for halftime with a 46-41 lead.

“Yeah, I think the first half we did a great job of defending,” James said. “And then we could have done a better job of cleaning glass at times, we gave up offensive rebounds for nine points in the first half, which you know, those are things that we can control.

“For the first 24 minutes, I thought we were defending, we were on a string, helping each other out. Offensively, we were playing great basketball. Even though some of the shots weren’t going in, we were still making the right plays.”

The Lakers shot a poor 31.7% from the field and 23.5% from downtown in the first half against the Kings. However, the Purple and Gold improved their aim after halftime to end up with a 40.8% overall field goal rate.

Kendrick Nunn felt ‘real good’ in first game for Lakers in over a year

Kendrick Nunn started the game against the Kings besides the Lakers’ Big 3 — and then came out in the started lineup again for the second half.

The 27-year-old guard registered nine points, two rebounds, and one assist, playing over 20 minutes as one of just four Lakers that night. And Nunn said he felt good in his return, making his first appearance a year after a bruised knee ruled him out of the entire 2021-22.

“Getting my legs back under me, my speed, my strength, I felt real good out there,” Nunn said.

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