November 2, 2022 – The Los Angeles Lakers tallies their second win of the season after a hard-fought battle against the Zion-led New Orleans Pelicans. After almost falling against the Pelicans, Matt Ryan forces OT with a dagger three-pointer to beat the buzzer. Eventually, the Lakers take the win at home with LeBron James and Anthony Davis both scoring 20 apiece while Lonnie Walker IV had an impressive night with 28 points.
In one of our previous articles, we tackled the possible effect of Westbrook coming off the bench. Darvin Ham’s play might have proven successful as they garnered their first win last Monday against the Denver Nuggets. How difficult it may be, a win is still a win. But, there’s something changing with the Lakers and we think we’re seeing some good basketball with the team.
Initially, it looked like a struggling season for the Lakers and the former MVP, Russell Westbrook. Though the Lakers had a bad start and are currently under .500, they’re somehow looking good, and here’s why:
THE PROBLEM V.S. THE SOLUTION
Admit it or not, the Lakers don’t look like a squad that can win it all yet. With all the injuries and internal drama, they’re bound for a very tough year. Some of the problems they are facing right now are:
- An aging LeBron James
- An injury-prone Anthony Davis
- Russell Westbrook looks like a shell of himself
- The Lakers’ shortage of reliable shooters down the stretch
All of the mentioned above are just some of the conflicts the team has to resolve. Though some are out of their control, some can still be managed. In their win against New Orleans, the Lakers proved things like:
- Playing Russ off the bench for the first time in his career is a great move. Though this may be the case, he is still getting some 30 minutes of playtime.
- Westbrook not in the starting line-up means Lonnie Walker IV gets to be the starting point guard. This is where it gets good because Walker is a very underrated player acquired by the Lakers from the San Antonio Spurs. A solid scorer who can also be a great wing defender. Talk about a diamond in the rough!
- Although Russ is not a starter anymore, he seems to be happy and playing like a real point guard now.
- LeBron James may be 38 years old but he is still playing at an elite level.
- Anthony Davis is a top 5 big man in the league if healthy so he is definitely a centerpiece in this team’s future.
- Matt Ryan is proving time and time again that he is an essential player with his clutch shooting. Together with Austin Reaves, these guys can contribute to the team if given enough playing time.
With all of the things aligned, the L.A. Lakers could be a serious threat in the Western Conference. Last season wasn’t for the trio of LeBron, Davis, and Westbrook but 2022-2023 could be the year they bounce back and mesh well together.
On the other hand, the Milwaukee Bucks get another win making them the only undefeated team in the league (7-0).
Giannis Antetokounmpo is playing like a monster in his first seven (7) games of the 2022-2023 season. Even without Khris Middleton, the Bucks are yet to lose, beating everyone who gets in their way. With the Greek Freak’s freakish performance, he is once again en route to another regular season MVP and maybe to another championship. Do you think he’ll get it again this year?
Will the Lakers continue this streak or is this just some kind of lucky run? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. For more content, stay with us, here at Spiel Times.
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