Title favorites Los Angeles Lakers lost their opening season game, and with that, they are now 0-7, including the preseason. Fans are becoming worried, but Gilbert Arenas explained why they should not push the panic button yet.
Arenas on why the Lakers struggled early
The Lakers were out of sorts in their first game of the season. Russell Westbrook failed to get going after scoring only 8 points on 4-13 shooting on the floor. Critics were quick to jump the hate wagon and claimed Brodie was a bad fit and it was a mistake getting him instead of Buddy Hield. On the other hand, Gilbert Arenas thinks fans should keep their hopes up in his podcast "No Chill with Gilbert Arenas."
"When you come to preseason you're coming off of training camp, right. So, usually everything is like defensively-minded you know. So, you still got your defense legs you really ain't got your offensive legs so you know usually you know scoring players usually struggle coming into preseason because they're trying to get their footing."
Gilbert Arenas, via Fubo Sports
Familiarity and chemistry are factors, too, and since it's still too early in the season, with barely days after the opening night, it's premature to think the Lakers would struggle big time as the games pile in. Their new addition Carmelo Anthony only had 9 points on 3-9 shooting on the floor. The team is almost entirely new, as the new recruits didn't have the time to jell together in the right way. Coach Frank Vogel will figure things out, and the fans should trust the process.
What's next for the Lakers?
The Lakers don't need to start the season on fire and finish the regular season on top of the Western Conference standings. A top-4 finish before the playoffs can still be considered a good season for L.A. What they need to do is to stay healthy so that the roster remains complete for the postseason. Since they are a team with aging players, the Lakers are smart enough not to make a quick impression in the regular season only to flame out in the playoffs.
There are games where Anthony Davis will rest; in others, Brodie, James, and Anthony will do the same thing. Rajon Rondo could play the point guard position to give Westbrook or James some rest in back-to-backs. Dwight Howard may get extended minutes to give AD more rest. The roster is designed in a way that the coaches are spoiled for choices.
The Lakers must answer some interesting questions soon: who will play the point guard position if Brodie and Rondo play together? Can Westbrook and Melo stay on the floor for extended minutes without the Lakers sacrificing their defensive rating? Who will be the best five off the bench?
For Arenas, who was a feared scorer back in the day, fans should just chill. Once the Lakers get their bearings going, it will be exciting to see how good they could be.