It’s been twenty games into the season and the Lakers are 11-9. Even after last night’s terrible loss to the Nuggets, the Lakers are right where we thought they would be. In all honestly, they’re actually slightly better. We thought the first month, the Lakers would struggle since they’ve got a lot of new pieces and still trying to figure things out. We were thinking they’d be 10-10 or even 9-11 through twenty games. The fact that LeBron has made such an impact, the Lakers are just barely ahead of schedule. You might be thinking to yourself that a 11-9 record isn’t great? Well–we beg to differ. The Lakers faced some tough teams to start the season, and yes they could’ve won some games against average teams, but you’ll have nights like that. The defense has been average and shooting is where the team is struggling on some nights. As we speak, the Lakers are currently 7th in the Western Conference. Yes, it’s still early but the team is progressing steadily. The team can compete with anyone in the NBA, but keeping that consistent has been a challenge. The Lakers are also waiting if any of the young core (Ball, Ingram, Kuzma, Hart) can emerge as the no.2 option next to LeBron. So far, Kuzma and Ingram have shown signs, but they’ve both had their struggles early on. The Lakers are also missing a knock-down shooter than can help alleviate the pressure off LeBron.
It’s no surprise that the front office is keeping a close eye on things as the season progresses. I believe the team has to be at least 9-10 games above .500 by the end of December or early January to really gauge where the team is headed. Everyone is stressing patience, but moves can be made if the front office doesn’t believe the Lakers can make the playoffs or if they need to make a move just to make it there. It’s going to be interesting to see how the team looks like in a couple of months, but so far they’re playing as expected.