Although Anthony Davis and LeBron James didn’t play to their standard in a loss against the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Lakers undeniably have struck gold with the All-Star duo.
Their partnership has been seamless from the beginning, with neither Davis or James showing any sort of jealousy of each other. Instead, they have pushed one another and collectively wanted what’s best for the team.
That of course culminated with the Lakers winning a championship in their first season together. Now the two are leading a retooled roster that has given them a stronger supporting cast.
While that certainly is a benefit, Davis and James serving as the starting off point remains most important. And their close relationship is one Warriors head coach Steve Kerr sees as the perfect building block, per Dan Woike of The L.A. Times:
“That’s been kind of a hallmark of a lot of championship teams, when you have championship-caliber stars who complement each other on and off the court,” Kerr said.
“They have two of the very best players in the game who complement each other very well and are very comfortable in their respective roles,” Kerr said. “It’s obviously a hell of a foundation upon which to build.”
After winning a championship last season and objectively improving their roster in the offseason, the Lakers are bound to have nights like Monday where they simply don’t play fully engaged basketball.
While there are absolutely lessons to learn from it, there is no need to hit the panic button, even as the Lakers embark on a seven-game road trip. James and Davis will very rarely have off nights at the same time.
But even if they do, the Lakers have shown they have the depth to be competitive when they struggle.
Frank Vogel: Lakers outplayed by Warriors in second half
While there are plenty of bad moments to look at from Monday’s loss, Lakers coach Frank Vogel took a much more generalized approach, saying his team simply fell short.
“We got outplayed in the second half,” he said. “Simplest way to put it. We didn’t defend at the rate we did the last few games or in the first half.
“They downsized with the second unit and gave us some problems. Offensively, we got hesitant, tried to overpass a few times and we didn’t have a great offensive fourth quarter to try to close things out.”
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