The Los Angeles Lakers were finally able to get the ball rolling on their season, winning their first game of the campaign against the Memphis Grizzlies. Anthony Davis' defensive showing was huge, something Kyle Kuzma pointed to on Twitter.
Slowly but surely, the new-look Lakers are finding chemistry and starting to click on the court.
There are still major issues for the Lakers. Fans weren't happy that the game against the Grizzlies became very close, after a pretty solid position in the 4th quarter. In fact, it took Ja Morant missing one free throw for the Lakers to avoid going to overtime against Memphis.
But the Lakers will be focusing on the positives from the game. Carmelo Anthony had an incredible performance, scoring 28 points, which the fans loved to see. Russell Westbrook had another improved performance and is making progress when it comes to building chemistry with fellow stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The Lakers have one of the oldest squads in the NBA. They have several current and former All-Stars in the team, who once were some of the best players in the NBA. Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan, and Rajon Rondo have been All-Stars in the past.
While they are no longer in the prime of their careers, they have shown that they are more than capable of contributing to an NBA team. The fact that their team has some of the best to ever play the game on their team has made the Lakers one of the favorites to win the NBA championship.
Los Angeles Lakers GM Rob Pelinka put in a lot of work during the offseason, bringing these players in. And before the season, he did shower them with high praise. But he also made sure they knew not to take things for granted or become complacent going into the new season.
"This room has the greatest basketball talent ever assembled on a team in recent history. You can say that. But without the proper mindset that amounts to jack sh*t. And we know that"
The weight of expectation is far from lost on the Lakers. But their recent performances have not been close to the level that they need to be at to win a championship. Russell Westbrook has said their slow start isn't a cause for concern. But their steady improvement over the course of games will be a good sign.
Going forward, the Lakers need Westbrook to get better. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been solid so far, but need to improve a little more in order to get the Lakers back on track in their championship pursuit.