Through the first quarter of the 2018-19 NBA season, Luke Walton and the Los Angeles Lakers are currently 13-9 behind a comeback win over the Dallas Mavericks that gave them a sweep of a back-to-back at Staples Center.
As the Lakers have the sixth-best record in the Western Conference, there have been debates over whether or not they’ve met expectations thus far. Since the 2-5 start, the Lakers have won 11 out of their last 15 games.
For his part, Walton is pleased with the strides the team made throughout November. “I’d probably give us a ‘B.’ I like the way we’re playing, I like the progress we’ve made,” Walton said.
“There’s always room to get better, and we’re going to continue to get better. I like the overall progress we’ve had.”
With the Lakers currently struggling with turnovers, Walton wants them to prioritize ball movement moving forward.
“Sharing the ball. We’re always trying to improve on everything but if I had to pick one for what I want to see start to happen more consistently, it would be sharing the ball,” he explained.
“We are more effective as a team, we’re harder to guard when the ball is moving. To me, it’s the way the game should be played. When someone else is open, get them the ball, and then they’ll get you the ball when you’re open. It’s a philosophy of mine and I think it makes us harder to guard.”
For LeBron James and the young core, they commit the fourth-most turnovers (16.0) per game. While the Lakers are still learning how to play together, Brandon Ingram recently admitted they ‘slip’ into watching James on offense.
After losing to the Orlando Magic and Denver Nuggets, the Lakers have shown an improvement with ball and player movement to begin their four-game homestand. Although they still find themselves with a short shot clock at times, Magic Johnson believes it will eventually all come together in January.