Too Early To Panic

Easy there, Lakers fans!

The Lakers came out the box with a huge win against a Denver that featured a dangerous point guard and a pretty strong offense. They played defense. They attacked the basket. Kobe looked good. Nash looked good.

But it’s just pre-season.

Then the Lakers went up against the much better championship contending Golden State Warriors and got mauled…twice. They didn’t play defense. They didn’t attack the basket. Kobe looked pretty good. Nash didn’t play.

But it’s just pre-season.

Let’s dissect the Lakers current situation. Byron is still putting his team through rigorous conditioning. In fact the team had practice the same day of the 2nd game against Golden State. For much of the game Golden State played their starters against the Lakers 2nd, 3rd and maybe even 4th string players. These are two teams with a different pre-season focus. Golden State is pretty set in their rotation whereas Lakers are figuring it out. Golden State is healthy where Lakers are not.

Keep away from the panic button!

These guys will get it. Coach Scott says he’ll be tapering off the conditioning as they get closer to the season. They are working on fine tuning offensive and defensive strategy. Aware of the injuries, they will most likely start settling in on their rotations. Things will be cleaned up. Being killed by 40 is ugly, but if you’re going to have your ugly games, it’s best that it happens now when it does not matter.

If I’m not mistaken, the 1984-85 Lakers lost by 42 in pre-season. We know how that season turned out.

There’s no need to pick on Scott’s coaching or take his comments out of proportion. But because of the losses, they have had a media field day!

10 to 15 Threes. Yes! Exactly! The Lakers should not be jacking up threes early in the clock. This leads to long rebounds and transition buckets. Rather, Lakers will stay inside out. Threes are necessary within the flow of the offense. He gave a number and you pundits ran with it.

Fouling on defense. Yes! Exactly! Standing by and getting dunked on all night and getting beat off the dribble isn’t defense. What Coach Scott expects is active hands, fighting on every play and not giving up easy layups. The byproduct of this defense will be fouls and physicality. Also, as this team learns this philosophy they will foul less and less. Easy, pundits!

Clippers are 0-3. Jazz are 3-0. Means nothing. Sure it helps to win, but the Lakers are hopefully focused on the big picture.

Look for the Lakers to be a little more cohesive and less lost on offense and defense tonight against the Jazz. They are still missing key players, so don’t expect too much yet. Be patient. They still have guys out including Lin, Clarkson, Nash, Henry and Kelly. Many of these guys will be back in time for the tail end of pre-season.

Remember. It’s just pre-season.

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