After three games and a 1-2 record, the Los Angeles Lakers have been a tough team to figure out early on in the 2013-14 season. An impressive Opening Night win over the Clippers was followed by an embarrassing loss at Golden State and a frustrating loss last night to the Spurs.
All things considered, without Kobe Bryant and an ever-changing rotation, the Lakers have shown that they’re a more exciting team than last season and definitely have better chemistry. With all that considered, forward Wesley Johnson believes this team is equipped to be a top-8 seed in the Western Conference when talking to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLA.com:
We’re definitely contending for a playoff spot. That’s everybody’s mindset. We’re definitely going to take one game at a time, but that’s the ultimate goal.
With a roster littered with players on one-year deals, the Lakers have shown a renewed energy, something that lacked all of last season. Players are more active on the defensive end and the bench has been a real spark for the team.
Johnson, a former fourth overall selection by the Minnesota Timberwolves, has played primarily the power forward position and is averaging 8.7 points as looks to have found his stroke after a tough Opening Night.
However, the question on everyone’s mind is when Bryant will get back onto the court to help his young team reach their ultimate goal, a championship. Bryant went through a successful week of conditioning and has stated previously that he believes that three straight weeks would put him on track to start playing in games.
Without him, Steve Nash has shown his age while veteran leader Pau Gasol is back to being the number one option as he’s averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds with close to 13 shots per game. While they’ve shown potential to be a top-6 seed, the Lakers need to gain an identity and a level of consistency as the season progresses.
ICYMI: Jordan Hill Held A Breast Cancer Meet and Greet After Opening Night.