Last summer when Lebron James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers it looked like things had finally turned around for the Lakers. Lebron was going to bring showtime back the LA and the Lakers would end their franchise long five year playoff drought. Now as the first month of the seasons comes to a close, it looks like the same old Lakers with the same old struggles.
The Lakers struggled during preseason at times but many laughed it away as their lack of depth, but the same issues that plagued preseason remain. Mainly, the Lakers are terrible at defense. The Lakers currently sit at 2-5 but remain in the bottom third in the league in defense. The Lakers are currently giving up a near league worst 122 points a game, including a whopping 143 to the San Antonio Spurs. The Lakers have not held an opponent under 106 points this season.
The Lakers signed Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson to sure up their defense, but both players have struggled. To make matters worse, both Rondo and Brandon Ingram have faced suspensions to spitting and cheap-shoting Rockets Chris Paul. This has required the Lakers to rely more heavily on 2nd year guards Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart.
The Lakers have also lacked any consistency and stability in their line up. Only Lebron James and Javale McGhee have played and started in all the Lakers games. Second leading scorer Kyle Kuzma has been in and out of the Lakers starting lineup.
Despite all this the Lakers have been seeing success. Lakers tickets are selling out, and the Lakers offense has been among the leagues best. Lebron James is still scoring at an amazing level and the Lakers have defeated one very good team in the Denver Nuggets.
All in all the Lakers will still likely make the playoffs, but the unrestrained enthusiasm that was displayed preseason should be curbed. The Lakers are likely a bottom teir playoff team and a first round exit to the hands of the Warriors,Rockets or Jazz.