Lakers

It’s Hard to Judge This Lakers Team Just Yet

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Will the Lakers see the light at the end of the tunnel anytime soon?

After an excruciating 108-107 loss to the Miami Heat that saw LA lose Anthony Davis (hip) and D’Angelo Russell (ejection), I’m here to tell you that although this young season has been rough, there’s no real way of gauging the potential of this team… not quite yet.

Through the hills and valleys of the first seven games of the season, the Lakers are still 3-4. Considering the truly unlucky strain of health and uncharacteristic play up and down the roster, that’s not a bad place to be.

It hasn’t been pretty, but there are many glaring silver-linings to lean back on.

ANTHONY DAVIS

Before leaving Monday’s game against the Heat with hip/groin spasms, Davis had been producing an MVP-level season.

Davis is the glue to the Lakers’ defense and a force to their offense. It didn’t look like the worst injury of his career, so all we can do is hold out hope that Davis gets healthy and back to playing his game at a high level soon.

IN LEBRON WE TRUST

There really isn’t much more that needs to be said about LeBron James. He is still defying what any person is able to do on a basketball court. Minute restrictions or not, James has been consistently great.

Despite Davis leaving the game early, Russell getting ejected, and the Lakers being limited to only six available players against the Heat (not including two-way players), James was able to put the team on his shoulders and make the game competitive. And for that, reserving any overreactions is permitted.

Barring injury, this type of production from James throughout the duration of a season is more than enough for Los Angeles. Reinforcements are coming.

REAVES IS FINDING HIS FEET

After a less-than-ideal start to the season, Austin Reaves is slowly beginning to look like the hot free agent commodity that he was. His slow start was a point of contention in the first few games of the season.

It should be noted that Reaves’ summer consisted of nonstop basketball. Playoff basketball led to FIBA play which led straight into training camp. Going into this season with heavy feet was expected, but another leap is also on the horizon — his recent stretch is a sign of optimism.

HEALTH, HEALTH, HEALTH

One thing that should be clear in the discourse about this early Lakers season is that they have been far from healthy.

Jarred Vanderbilt (heel) has yet to make his season debut. Rui Hachimura (concussion) has missed the last four games. Gabe Vincent (knee) has been absent for the last three games. Jaxson Hayes (ankle) was ruled out prior to the Heat game.

Needless to say, we really haven’t seen the full potential of this Lakers team. More notably, Vanderbilt’s defensive ability is a massive aspect of the Lakers’ defensive identity. It’s natural that LA has played poor defensively– they’ve been without one of the more tenacious defenders in the league.

Hachimura provides immediate backup for Lebron, which is why James has been playing an unnecessary amount of minutes.

The Lakers are low on options, and it will be like that for the near foreseeable future.

Nevertheless, one thing is certain — when the Lakeshow is able to control the controllable, they have been a good basketball team. And until the uncontrollable becomes less of a factor, it will be hard to judge this Lakers team as a whole.

About Connor Moreno

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