The Los Angeles Lakers have opened the NBA season with their fare share of up’s and downs as their current 8-14 record indicates. For those looking from the outside in on the team this was to be expected, as the general consensus prior to the season was another poor win total for the purple and gold. Although the team has had their missteps, there have also been plenty of bright spots for fans to feel a sense of optimism.
Thus far, the positivity surrounding the team has derived more from the development, and arrival, of several of their young players rather than the actual winning of games, and this should be acceptable. Entering the season, there was the encouraging realization that there were no longer draft lottery caveats each game due to the lack of a first-round pick in the upcoming draft. This has given fans back the sole rooting interest in wanting the Lakers to win again, yet as a community, it is important to also still preach patience and comprehension of the obstacles.
Considering both how the roster is currently constructed, and the landscape of the league, winning simply can not be the realistic expected outcome each night. This is not to say fans should not be upset about losing games, but rather to instead embrace the silver linings found in each contest for at least another season of player development.
This sentiment will especially be important this Holiday season as the Lakers are about to embark on their most difficult stretch of games of their schedule, pushing the team and it’s fan base’s resolve to to the test. The Lakers will play a total of 15 games from now until the New Year, all of which against teams with the same, or a better record than the Lakers as of this article, including multiple match-ups against the top-tier of the NBA.
After a gutty performance against the Champions earlier in the week, the Lakers will have to face the Golden State Warriors twice more in the upcoming stretch, two of the meetings of which will only be separated by four days. The team will also have to play the Western-Conference leading Houston Rockets a whopping three times this month, whom won 9 out of their last 10 games with the returning Chris Paul in the lineup.
Although there are some plausible winnable games in the stretch against teams like the Charlotte Hornets and LA Clippers, there are no sure things for this Lakers’ squad as made evident in their loss to the Denver Nuggets. This is not to say it is all doom and gloom for the purple and gold the rest of the way, as after this winter stretch, the team’s remaining schedule is much more manageable facing more middle of the pack teams.
The team’s record will most likely be pretty ugly after this stretch, and looking at the teams they will have to face, this would be expected for the majority of the NBA not only the Lakers. So, before the clamoring for head coach firings, trading of players, and lighting the torches begin, it is important to simply watch and take away a few tidbits from each game that foreshadow good things in the horizon.
One game It could be Lonzo Ball making his shots, the next it could be Brandon Ingram driving to the rim with ease, or it could be Kyle Kuzma continuing to showcase his offensive repertoire. All of these are the aspects to embrace. This team is young, inexperienced, and lopsided in terms of roster depth, yet it also has talent.
Even if the wins do not come right away, the glimpses of greatness showcased even in losses, like Ingram heating up against the Warriors in an exciting overtime game, should be enough to keep everyone warm through this frigid portion of the season.