Random dribbles on the Lakers and their 3-5 start.
1. The Lakers look totally average and Anthony Davis is hurt again. Sound familiar?
2. Granted, a bunch of their games have come on the road, but they only seem to be getting worse. They’re 3-0 at home, 0-5 on the road, and were blown out of the gym by the Rockets.
3. Defensively, I’m wondering if this is a team that can stop anybody. Maybe, I just haven’t seen it yet.
4. Offensively, the Lakers say constant injuries are keeping them from being cohesive. Davis’ hip issue doesn’t seem to be anything serious, but he was a late scratch against the Rockets. Jaxson Hayes (ankle) has missed two straight and Jarred Vanderbilt (heel) and Jalen Hood-Schifino (knee) have yet to play.
5. LeBron James has again been an offensive force as the NBA’s oldest player (38). He’s averaging better than 24 points through the first eight games. he’s still passing for 5.4 assists and shooting 56 percent from the field.
6. But everyone else? Meh. Outside of Davis, it’s hard to see where the help will come from on a consistent basis.
7. James told reporters “I don’t have an assessment” when asked about the state of the team. He did point to the injuries, and that’s fair. “I mean, we can’t build cohesion if we don’t have our unit,” James said, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “It’s that simple. It’s just, we’re very depleted on the injury side.”
8. I will say this, though — if there’s one team that doesn’t need to be concerned with the early part of the season, it’s a team with James. The Lakers are coming off a run to the West finals. And they looked even worse to start last year.
9. Coach Darvin Ham on the state of things (via McMenamin): “We’re juggling different circumstances — guys being in and out of the lineup. But at the end of the day, no one is going to feel sorry for you, especially when you’re a Los Angeles Laker.”
10. Man, ain’t that truth. The Lakers can be average or worse, and everyone else is still going to be especially fired up to play them. That’s just the way it goes when you’re a traditional power. And especially now that they have James.
11. It is pretty amazing that a 38-year-old man can continuously blow by and outmuscle 20-somethigs near the basket. James can put on a clinic and some of these guys are now half his age. No one sees or talks about the work that players such as James and Stephen Curry (35) put in during the offseason, their diets, and how they take care of their bodies.
12. As for the Lakers overall, I say just give it time. I covered James on a daily basis when he was in Cleveland, and the line I remember from him most when those teams struggled: “Just get me to the playoffs.” The same applies here.