It wasn’t much of a game, until garbage time at the end, and the Lakers understand there is work to be done.
Final score: Suns 115, Lakers 105 in LA. It dropped the Lakers to 0-2, and about the most notable thing to come out of the night was the sideline tiff between Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard. (Both men say it’s since been squashed.)
So, what gives with the Lakers and their roster full of big names?
LeBron James says nothing, actually. Early struggles are to be expected.
“There’s a process along with building something to become the team you want to become, and I know it firsthand,” James told reporters. “It doesn’t happen overnight, as much as you want it. It just takes time, and we’ll know when that time is. Right now, we’ve got to continue to just push.”
James, 36, knows what he’s talking about. He’s been here with the Cavs, the Heat, the Cavs again and yes, the Lakers, failing to make the playoffs in 2019. There have been disappointments during the regular season.
But almost always, LeBron-led teams emerge from what can sometimes appear to be dark days or underachievement. There is a reason he’s not panicked — even if social media sometimes insists he should feel otherwise.
James is averaging 29.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 30 games. But the Lakers do indeed look kind of old and somewhat disjointed. Newcomer Russell Westbrook is really struggling to adapt, at 11.5 points and a career-low 36 percent shooting through two games.
That’s just the thing, though. It’s a mere two games. There are 80 left and then the playoffs. Plenty of time.
“We’ll get better with it,” James said. “We have no choice but to get better.”