The new-look Lakers are off to a tumultuous start at 3-5 this season, with the team losing three separate games that have gone down to the wire. One of these tough losses came Monday against the Timberwolves, testing the patience of LeBron James and other veterans on the team.
“There’s obviously frustration that comes with it,” coach Luke Walton said at the time, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “I don’t know what the level [of frustration] is, but it’s going to be a tough flight home.
“But like I told our guys, nobody feels sorry for us. It’s up to us to figure it out and start winning some of these close games. And we will. I can promise you that. We will start to win some of these. But right now we’re taking a couple lumps in the meantime.”
Walton has substituted players in and out of the starting lineup, experimenting different groups of players this season. Part of growing as a new team is having the patience and veteran leadership in turbulent times, something the Lakers possess in James.
James willed his team to a victory Wednesday, but offered a simple answer when asked about his patience earlier in the week:
“You probably don’t want to be around when my patience runs out,” James said. “I’m serious.”
There’s more from the Pacific Division:
- Exercising the 2019/20 option in Damian Jones‘ contract was an easy decision for the Warriors, Monte Poole of NBC Sports writes. Jones’ $2.3MM salary for next season is a team-friendly deal when considering his level of play at starting center this year.
- Shaun Livingston underwent an MRI on his foot this week after dealing with soreness, Mark Medina of The Mercury News tweets. The MRI returned clean, and the Warriors plan to be cautious with his injury. Livingston is listed as doubtful for Friday’s game against the Timberwolves.
- LeBron James needs more support around him for the Lakers to reach their true potential, The Los Angeles Times’ Dan Woike writes. James scored 29 points in a close home win against the Mavericks on Wednesday, knocking down the game-winning free throw. The Lakers have a young nucleus of talent and several veterans around James, who’s seeking his fourth NBA title.