Lakers fans, don’t give up hope. The Lakers are 0–5, but their opponents are a combined 15–4. Name another team that has had a tougher opening schedule. The first two games were blowouts, but the Lakers were competitive in their last three games, minus the final quarter versus the Warriors.
It’s normal to struggle out of the gate with eight new players on your roster plus a new coach with a completely new system. Both Byron Scott and Kobe Bryant have preached patience even though neither of them has that gift. It’s a process of learning and experimenting, but to be fair the Lakers have been hit like a set of new parents. The hardest part of the schedule came when they were the least prepared.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers have gotten off to much worse starts than expected also and their competition hasn’t been nearly as tough. But it’s not about making excuses, it’s about having perspective of the overall picture of a long season ahead.
Despite Kobe’s usage rate and shooting percentage, what he is doing at his age and post-injuries is amazing. This isn’t getting nostalgic about the past, but appreciating what he’s doing in the present.
One of the main reasons why Kobe takes so many shots is because he’s given the ball late in the shot clock. His teammates haven’t earned his trust yet, but once they do his shot attempts will go down.
Kobe is being taken off the dribble easily, but it’s not for a lack of effort. He’s always played defense like a “safety” in football and he’ll adjust his expectations as his conditioning moves into game shape. Kobe is still the leader of this team both in the locker room and on the court, so there’s hope because there is nothing he cares about more than winning.
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