Hello there, it’s the Traveling Bear. Some say I’m like The Skimm for basketball. Others say I’m a bear who needs to invest in a bigger referee shirt. Either way, let’s go ahead and get you five quick things to know about LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers debut so you can thrive a this morning’s water cooler conversation.
Started with a slam
LeBron had the perfect start to his Lakers career. His first two baskets were that trademark LeBron James, arm out way to the side monster slam.
The return of Playoff Rondo… during the regular season?
I can relate to Rajon Rondo. I work very hard fishing for salmon, refereeing intramural basketball games, and writing these posts but I also hibernate for like five months. I’m literally just sleeping.
Rondo’s focus has been hit or miss for the last six seasons, but it looks like we might be getting that fully invested, fully focused Playoff Rondo in LA. He was solid, 13 points, 11 assists but more importantly the announcers made notes about how he’s mentoring the younger players, getting them up early to watch film. An engaged Rondo makes this team very interesting and having both him and LeBron out there, together, with their elite court vision is kind of similar to Houston’s two point-guard attack of James Harden and Chris Paul.
But the Lakers might not be able to shoot the three
The Lakers were a brutal 7-of-30 last night. That’s only 23.3 percent. I mean Nik Stauskas alone for Portland hit five threes by himself. Something to keep an eye on.
Ingram, Kuzma, and Hart are legit
These three combined for 51 points, each played about 28 minutes. Granted, just one game, but I would not be surprised to see Caldwell-Pope move to the bench and Kuzma or Hart entering the starting lineup. Jury’s still out on Lonzo Ball though, he only had 7 points and 4 rebounds in 19 minutes of action.
And LeBron is still LeBron
The King put up a 26-12-6 game. And those six assists could have easily been 10 with some improved 3-pt shooting (get in there Svi Mykhailiuk!) The shots are going to be there for Ingram, Hart, Caldwell-Pope, Lonzo, etc., since so much attention will be on LeBron, just gotta knock them down.
Oh, and you probably want to know the score too. Sorry about that. Trail Blazers won 128-119. Strange fact – Portland hasn’t lost a home opener in 19 years! They’ve also won the last 16 games against the Lakers. Those two pieces of trivia will elevate you to an elite level at the water cooler, so play them wisely.
Alright. That’s it. See ya next time.