The beginning of the season has been anything but kind to the Lakers.
They’ve had to play some of the best teams in the West, been hit with an injury bug and started 3-4 on the year. Add in some poor three-point shooting, questionable officiating and a couple of heartbreaking losses and it starts to feel like the deck is stacked against the purple and gold.
D’Angelo Russell says, bring it on.
“It’s still part of the process. I think this is the adversity we need as a group. We still had a chance to win the game with guys out,” Russell said postgame after losing to Miami by one. “With all the nonsense going on. We still had a chance. That’s all you can ask for. Unfortunately, we didn’t win the game, but there’s still some positives to gain from this one.”
As a nine-year vet, Russell knows what he’s talking about. All teams go through trials and tribulations throughout a season and it is better to go through those struggles early when there’s the most time to fix things and make changes to prepare for a championship run.
LAL somehow had several chances to win a game in which Anthony Davis barely played in the 2nd half due to a hip injury, despite having only 6 healthy bodies after D'Angelo Russell got ejected, but they couldn't get a jumper to fall in the final moments, and lose 108-107.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 7, 2023
The struggles L.A. has gone through early on don’t deserve excuses but context. Perhaps most of their problems can all be solved with players returning healthy. The Lakers had five players missing against Miami and added a sixth, with Anthony Davis going out in the third quarter due to hip spasms.
With Rui Hachimura set to return on Wednesday and most players suffering from minor injuries, maybe this is just a small sample size and the concerns we have will be irrelevant once everyone is back.
For now, all the data from this season so far is not great and the only players who have consistently produced as expected are LeBron James, Davis and, believe it or not, Christian Wood. Everyone else has had moments of disappointment, Russell included.
Progress is not linear and adversity is necessary on the path to prosperity. Let’s see if the Lakers can overcome these challenges and come out of it as a better team and start winning games.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.