Lakers start off the NBA season slow


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LeBron James started the season with an 0-5 record for the first time in 20 seasons.

The Los Angeles Lakers have hit a road bump to start the 2022-2023 National Basketball Association (NBA) season. 

The Lakers have some major problems with their game at the moment. Their offense is not constructed to compliment their two superstars, forward Lebron James and center Anthony Davis. Every one of Lebron James’ championship teams featured a number of quality shooters, especially in the 2020-2021 season, which took place in the COVID-19 bubble, when he had Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso and Marc Gasol, who all shot 40% from three point range. However, the Lakers have removed these key players and made it difficult for themselves to make it back to the NBA Finals. 

This year’s Lakers team does not possess the same abilities. However, they have added players like Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley. Westbrook is a former Most Valuable Player (MVP), but he has a career 30.4% from three point range. His downfall is that he is considered a slasher. By being a slasher it creates a lack of spacing for James and Davis. On the other hand, Patrick Beverley has a career 37.6% three point shot, but is more known for his defensive contribution. 

The Lakers also picked up guard Matt Ryan during the offseason. Ryan has taken a unique road in making it to the NBA. While he is a career 40% three point shooter, Ryan does not get enough credit for his impact on the team and the spacing he provides. While he is credited with making a buzzer-beater three point shot to send a game against the New Orleans Pelicans into overtime about a week ago, the addition has, for the most part, failed to work out in the Lakers favor.

Following last season, the Lakers fired head coach Frank Vogel. He led the team to a disappointing 33 win season. In his spot, the Lakers hired Darvin Ham. Ham only recently got his first win of his coaching career after dropping five straight games to start the season. 

This win, the first of the season, came versus the Denver Nuggets. Scoring 121 points, the Lakers were able to beat the Nuggets by 11 points.

While successful towards the end, Lebron James started off slowly; he missed his first four shots. However, he was able to pick up the pace ending 10 for 22 shooting with 26 points, six rebounds and eight assists. 

Russell Westbrook, who came off the bench for the first time in over 1,000 games, was able to rally the team and earn a box plus/minus of +18, the highest on the team, while playing 32 minutes. A box plus/minus is the stat that shows how much you impacted the team in a game either being negative or positive. Westbrook ended with 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. This was a very much needed win for the Lakers to avoid going 0-6.

After the Lakers first win, they beat the New Orleans Pelicans to earn their second straight win, making them two and five on the season. Their next game is Nov. 4 against the Utah Jazz at the Lakers’ home stadium, Arena, at 10:30 p.m.