The Los Angeles Lakers have shown a certain resiliency thus far into the 2016-17 season. With a record of 7-6, Luke Walton, Jordan Clarkson and the young core have shown that they can compete with any team on any given night.
Although they lost 116-107 to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night, the team fought hard and kept the contest exhilarating, even when you thought the Spurs were about to pull away. Gregg Popovich complimented Walton and the young core, stating that the results the Lakers have presented under Walton has been rather impressive.
The loss Friday night only begins a rough stretch of games for Walton, which surely is a measuring stick for the roster at this point into the season. After consecutive home games against the Chicago Bulls (Sunday) and Oklahoma City Thunder (Tuesday), they do a home and away split with the Golden State Warriors.
Upon a home game against the Atlanta Hawks, the Lakers then embark on a four-game road trip against the Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans, Toronto Raptors and Memphis Grizzlies. The upcoming games will surely be a measuring stick, with some good competition for the Lakers to face early into the NBA season.
With the upcoming slate of games approaching, Clarkson stated that the team isn’t afraid of what lies ahead, via Baxter Holmes of ESPN:
Jordan Clarkson on Lakers’ upcoming schedule (Chicago, OKC, then GSW twice): “We ain’t scared."
— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) November 19, 2016
The young core sure does have a moxie about themselves, not backing down from any challenge. Walton and the Lakers feel as if they belong amongst the top-notch teams in the Western Conference, but understand they must take it game by game in order to be successful.
While D’Angelo Russell was sidelined Friday with a sore knee, Clarkson, Lou Williams, Nick Young and Jose Calderon outscored the Spurs backcourt by a score of 71-47.
With the tough stretch ahead, the team must continue to rely upon each other and execute the offense in order to post consistent results against the many postseason caliber teams ahead.