With the new NBA season right around the corner, all eyes are looking to L.A., where the new-look Lakers face heightened expectations.
Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and many other big-name talents have come together to form one of the most powerful rosters in the entire NBA.
But if Sunday night's blowout loss to Brooklyn showed anything, it's that this team still has a long way to go before they're in a place they want to be.
“We’re way behind,” Anthony Davis said after the preseason opener. “Getting movement on offense. Quality shots. Defensively, talking, getting our schemes right. Rebounding, very huge. We’re not boxing out. That was the main takeaway."
Obviously, the Lakers did not put their full power on display, choosing to send out players on training-camp deals in the fourth quarter over their illustrious big-three.
Even Davis knows that, offensively, they will get it together.
“Offense will come. We’re not too worried about it, especially when we get Bron, Melo, TA and Russ out there,” Davis said. “But it was the first game to see where we are, and we got to do a better job defensively, especially blocking out.”
Of course, doubts remain about what the Lakers will be able to do this season and even whether or not Anthony Davis will play up to his potential. Over the years, he has had a knack for starting the season in less than favorable conditions...
“How could you have a teammate like LeBron, that just delivered you your first title ever… and I’m not insulting Anthony Davis, I’m asking a question because it’s something I would ask him to his face… If you didn’t do all that you could physically to have yourself in peak condition, how could you allow that to happen to you when you know you’re playing with a champion?” Smith asked on Thursday’s episode of First Take. “… How could you have that slippage? So it’s great that Russell Westbrook is [in Los Angeles].”
Davis, 28, will be key in determining the fate of the Lakers this season. The 8x All-Star has already proven his importance to the team.
As for the rest of the guys, we'll just have to wait and see how they gel, and if the collective talent of the bunch will be enough to overcome the fire-power in Brooklyn.