LOS ANGELES — The Lakers‘ brand-new Massive Three made its preseason debut in a 111-99 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday. And whereas the results of Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis‘ first courtroom time collectively was one other defeat to drop L.A.’s report to 0-5 in its exhibition schedule, the postgame message echoed by the celebrities was one asking for endurance however exuding positivity.
“It is going to take a minute for us to turn out to be the workforce that we all know we’re going to be able to being,” mentioned James, who put up 17 factors, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 6 turnovers. “We will have moments the place we’re not fairly proper there. We could take steps backwards. However that is all a part of … I feel nothing is price having if it is not price working for.”
Westbrook, who labored his strategy to the Lakers within the offseason by convincing the Washington Wizards to hunt a deal, regarded the very best he has but in purple and gold — which is not saying a lot, contemplating he mixed to shoot 4-for-19 with 16 turnovers in his first two outings. However his velocity within the open courtroom when flanked by a lot expertise shall be a difference-maker this season.
“We had some good spurts,” Westbrook mentioned after ending with 10 factors, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 turnovers. “Clearly, it is the primary recreation. However there are some good issues we will take from it. … We could be a little inspired by it.”
For James, who comes into the season searching for a fifth ring that might tie his profession complete with the likes of Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson and Tim Duncan, ethical victories imply little. But the 19-year veteran pledged to information his group via its nascent phases.
“Me, as a frontrunner, my job is for myself to not get annoyed,” he mentioned. “If I do not get annoyed, I feel it would trickle right down to everybody else. I’ve by no means been an individual that is OK with not being wonderful. However I perceive issues take time as nicely. So long as I hold the primary factor the primary factor, keep even keel all through no matter is occurring with our ballclub, then we’ll be wonderful.”
Davis was greater than wonderful in opposition to Golden State, main the Lakers with 20 factors on 7-for-12 taking pictures to go along with 6 rebounds, 2 steals and a pair of blocks. He was inspired by his first glimpse of L.A.’s new-look lineup with him beginning on the 5, together with James, Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Kent Bazemore.
“We noticed some nice issues with me, Bron and Russ in motion,” Davis mentioned. “There’s limitless potentialities, the issues we will run and we will do. … And though there have been good issues, a variety of issues that we will do higher.”
The Lakers shut out the preseason Thursday on the highway in opposition to the Sacramento Kings and have per week till the common season opens up, again residence in opposition to the Warriors once more.
There may be loads of extra work to do earlier than the Lakers come near a last product, beginning with getting all their gamers wholesome. Trevor Ariza (ankle surgical procedure) is predicted to overlook at the very least two months; Talen Horton-Tucker (thumb surgical procedure) shall be sidelined round a month; and Kendrick Nunn (proper ankle) and Wayne Ellington (left hamstring) each sat out Tuesday, together with Malik Monk (groin), who shall be out about one other week.
“So, if these guys do not play, now how can we incorporate them?” Davis mentioned. “So we have not had our full workforce the place we’ll have the ability to have a look at each element, nevertheless it seems good thus far.”
With an 82-game season about to start for a gaggle that in the end cares solely about getting 16 wins from April to June, time is on the Lakers’ facet.
“It might take all 12 months to actually be at our greatest, and ideally, that is after we are at our greatest — going into the playoffs,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel mentioned. “However now we have the mindset to hit the bottom working and are available out of the gates actually sturdy with issues clicking as finest as we will. … Nevertheless it’s cheap to assume that there is going to be some bumpy nights early within the season, however we had the expectation coming in two years in the past and we jumped out of the gates fairly sturdy. So, that is what we’re hoping for.”