No more talk. The 2018-2019 NBA season has begun for the NBA and most notably the Los Angeles Lakers in their quest for a 17th championship victory.
In this episode of the Lakers Lair, hosts Randy King and BJ Boyer discuss the first two regular season games that the Lakers have participated in under the new LeBron-led Lakers era.
Who would have thought that the LeBron James Staples Center debut would be clouded by a fight between Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo with a late appearance from Brandon Ingram? Well, it was as punches were thrown from all three players resulting in each being suspended the next few games. Paul got the lightest suspension with it being only two games, Rondo got three games, and Ingram got the heaviest with a four-game suspension.
Losing Ingram and Rondo does not help the Lakers out whatsoever as they already have gotten off to a slow start dropping their first two games to the Portland Trail Blazers and the Houston Rockets, both by a margin of nine points. However, things are still early and as always Boyer and King always look at the positives with the Lakers.
“I loved how we rebounded the ball as a team, the togetherness on the glass in the Portland game was encouraging. Loved the way JaVale McGee has played these last two games. He has been blocking shots, protecting the rim, and throwing down some nasty dunks. You can see his confidence blooming.” – BJ Boyer
“I think they are doing a good job at finding each other on the court and finding a good balance of running half-court sets and when to run and when not to run. Luke walton has been taken his time-outs wisely. Usually, when teams go on runs, Phil Jackson was good at this, he let his team play through it. With Luke Walton he has done a good job at taking time-outs before runs start to calm the team down and get them back and focused and then getting a good basket out of the time-out.” – Randy King
A lot of optimism can be drawn from these two games. Obviously, the Rockets are going to be a tough hurdle to get over given their elite level back-court and high potent offense but the fight (pun intended) and battle for four quarters show that the Lakers are chomping at the heels of some of the tougher competition in the Western Conference.
Zero wins and two losses. These Lakers Lair hosts have to be mad, right?
Luke Walton in his handling of minutes, I’ve been pissed off because it seems like he’s reverting back to his old ways of last year. Pulling guys too early not given them enough minutes. There is no reason to why Brandon Ingram should be playing under 30 minutes a game unless he is hurt or in foul trouble. I don’t want to see Lance Stephenson out there eating his minutes.” – BJ Boyer
The Lakers will look to get in the winning column Monday versus the San Antonio Spurs at home. Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma will step into the starting rotation in place of the suspended Ingram and Rondo. Who knows, maybe we have seen the last of Rondo being a starter for this Lakers side if Ball performs admirably.
Following the Spurs contest, the Lakers will travel to Phoenix to take on Devin Booker and the Suns on Wednesday. Winnable games, especially when you have the king in your corner but so was Portland.
See what other comments that King and Boyer made in this episode. Who earned the Laker of the week for both hosts and which match-ups should the Lakers key in on when they do take on the Spurs and Suns this week. All that answered and more.
So if you do not know by now, relax and welcome for another evening inside of the Lakers Lair. Enjoy!