The Los Angeles Lakers were competitive in their first two regular season games but they haven’t found the formula for success just yet, dropping both games.
It’s not the start head coach Luke Walton dreamed of, but he understands that he’s going to have to be patient with his new roster as they develop winning habits and learn how to play with each other.
“It’s transition defense, it’s playing without fouling, they’re all just as important,” Walton said at practice on Sunday. “Every game takes on its own life, so it’s not like ‘oh, all of a sudden if we can stop fouling we’ll automatically win these games, it’s about doing what’s needed that game, and especially down the stretch of the games, closing them out, making plays.
"We’re close to getting there, but we’re not close to where we need to be. We’re miles away from where we need to be. We’ve got a lot of work to do all season long to get where we need to be.”
The new-look Lakers have played a total of eight games together since September 30, so their slow start isn’t totally unexpected. However, with LeBron James on the roster, the expectation for Walton and his team is to win now.
Walton, his staff and his roster can preach patience as much as they’d like to, but the reality is that they face pressure from the fanbase and the organization to figure things out sooner rather than later, particularly Walton, who is entering third year of a five-year deal he signed in 2016.
The Lakers will look to bounce back and get their first win of the regular season against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday, but they’ll have to do it without two of their key players. An 0-3 start wouldn’t be ideal for Walton, but if that ends up being the case, don’t expect panic from him.
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