After 30 games, it’s safe to say we have a good idea of what the Los Angeles Lakers will be this season.
Exciting. Flawed. Loaded with potential. More than likely not a playoff team, though that should have been the expectation coming into the season, right?
Right. And with the Lakers slumping to an 11-19 record after a 7-5 record to start the season—even if injuries have played a factor—that expectation seems to be aligned with reality.
After all, the Lakers have a new head coach in Luke Walton. The team is a blend of young, potential stars (D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr.) and complementary veterans (Lou Williams, Nick Young, Luol Deng, Timofey Mozgov). And it hasn’t quite figured out how to play defense yet (110.5 points allowed per game, 27th in the NBA).
But the Lakers’ young talent is unmistakable, they are fun to watch given the exciting brand of offense they play and even superstars have taken notice, including LeBron James:
LeBron James: “(The Lakers) shot the ball extremely well. They’ve got a lot of talent over there & Luke has got them playing the right way.”
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 18, 2016
Russell, not surprisingly, has played well now that he’s free of the long shadow cast by Kobe Bryant, averaging 15.0 points and 4.5 assists per game. Julius Randle (13.0 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 3.3 APG) has done a little bit of everything for the team, Lou Williams (18.9 PPG) has been a surprise as the team’s top scorer in his sixth-man role and Nick Young has stretched defenses with his perimeter play (40.5 percent from beyond the arc).
Ingram, meanwhile, has started slowly during his rookie campaign, though it appears he’s starting to find his footing. Against James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, he finished with nine points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, barely missing out on a triple-double.
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