•   
  •   

SportLeBron James, Lakers dealing with four key problems as part of early struggles

20:15  08 november  2018
20:15  08 november  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

LeBron James on Lakers’ early season struggles: ‘I almost cracked’

LeBron James on Lakers’ early season struggles: ‘I almost cracked’ ‪“I haven’t changed anything outwardly, but you know me. You know how I am. I almost cracked (last week),” James told Yahoo Sports.

LeBron James will become the latest NBA legend to play for the Los Angeles Lakers . Adrian Wojnarowski explains how moving to L.A. could benefit LeBron James off the hardwood and how it will help the Lakers ' recruiting strategy.

The Lakers , even with James , will not be considered a top contender at the Warriors’ level. They sport a roster filled mostly with younger cornerstones But by agreeing to a four -year contract, James essentially acknowledged that the Lakers would need time to build a title-worthy team around him.

LeBron James, Lakers dealing with four key problems as part of early struggles © Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited

So what, exactly, did the Lakers expect when they cobbled together a roster of misfits on one-year deals, a handful of young players still trying to find their way and one 34-year-old superstar who has played 239 postseason games — nearly an extra three seasons — in the middle of it all?

Just a little more than three weeks into the season, that’s a common question among front-office executives, scouts and coaches around the NBA with the Lakers sitting at 5-6 after Wednesday’s win over the Timberwolves.

"They’re basically a .500 team right now," one general manager said. "How much better did they think they were going to be at this point anyway? It’s not something that was ever going to happen overnight."

NBA free agency: Tyson Chandler says he chose to sign with Lakers over Warriors

NBA free agency: Tyson Chandler says he chose to sign with Lakers over Warriors Chandler ultimately decided to sign a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal with LA because he “could only see himself in a Laker uniform."

“ LeBron James , four time NBA MVP, three time NBA finals MVP, fourteen time NBA All Star, and two time Olympic gold medalist has agreed to a four year, 4 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers ,” reads a press release tweeted by Klutch Sports Group, James ’ agency, on Sunday.

LeBron James is headed to the Los Angeles Lakers , with or without another superstar alongside him. With James electing to sign a long-term deal rather than playing year to year, as he did after returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers four years ago, it further indicates that he is in this for the long

MORE: Eight NBA coaches already on hot seats

The case could be made, in fact, that the Lakers have exceeded early expectations. One Western Conference assistant coach pointed to the tough stretch of games LA has had thus far.

"Look who they’ve played," the coach said. "In the film we’ve watched, every time I’ve seen them they’re playing a West team that was in the playoffs last year, teams that won 47, 48 games. They have not had gimmes, and when you are trying to pull together that many new faces, you need some games against the bottom teams."

What’s worse in NBA circles is that team president Magic Johnson has set up coach Luke Walton as a fall guy for the team’s current position. ESPN reported that Johnson met with Walton this week, and though Johnson said there are no plans to fire Walton, he’s clearly on the hot seat. It was former front-office brass Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss who hired Walton, not Johnson and current GM Rob Pelinka.

NBA free agency: Tyson Chandler says he chose to sign with Lakers over Warriors

NBA free agency: Tyson Chandler says he chose to sign with Lakers over Warriors Chandler ultimately decided to sign a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal with LA because he “could only see himself in a Laker uniform."

LeBron James is set to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers , leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time to join one of the NBA’s most iconic franchises.

LeBron James left his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, again, to fly cross-country to sunnier skies for a long-term contract with the Los Angeles Lakers . There are many reasons why The King may have signed a four -year deal with his new Los Angeles Lakers team, some basketball-related, some not.

Johnson’s apparent complaint was the number of different lineups that Walton has tried early in the year, but considering 10 of the 17 players on LA's roster are new, including James, that should hardly be a surprise.

"I think they want to put a little pressure on everyone, and Luke is the easiest guy to do that with," one scout said. "Their problem is not coaching, and Magic Johnson knows basketball well enough to know that. But they put out a story about pressure on him and the hope is the players rally, and I am betting they will. Give them three weeks, they’ll be a few games over .500."

As for what has gone wrong so far in LA, there are a variety of answers — beginning with their prized, franchise-saving signing from July.

LeBron in the clutch

"This has been an issue every time LeBron signs with a new team," the assistant coach said. “There is a trust factor when you get to crunch time, everyone has to trust everyone else. And we’ve seen LeBron struggle with that in the past. He’s struggling with it now."

LeBron James among Lakers affected by Sacramento smoke

LeBron James among Lakers affected by Sacramento smoke LeBron James and JaVale McGee were among the LA players who said they had been affected by smoke following their win over the Kings.

LeBron James is headed to the Los Angeles Lakers . The starting lineup with Fultz continues to struggle mightily on both ends of the court. It is part of the reason they are inconsistent. Until the Butler situation gets resolved, fans will not know what they will get from this team night to night (and gamblers may It’s early , but how are things going so far with LeBron James and the young core?

The Lakers made the biggest splash of free agency in signing LeBron James but they have dropped the ball in building a contender around him. Seriously, Magic Johnson is going to roll James out with Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo and Javale McGee? You know what the scariest part of that trio is?

In short, James has been bad late in close games so far.

Coming into the season, the Lakers appeared to have a high-powered offense capable of blowing out some teams, but an awkward defensive collection that would leave them in tight games. That’s essentially how things have worked out thus far. The Lakers have been blown out only once, against the Raptors, and have had one blowout, against the Suns.

They’ve had six games decided by four points or fewer, and in clutch situations (score within five points with three minutes to play in the fourth quarter or overtime), the team has struggled, with an offensive rating of 94.1 points per 100 possessions and a defensive rating of 125.0. They’re 3-3 in those close games, but the overall record would look better with more consistent execution.

James has taken the most shots (15) among Lakers in clutch situations. He has made just five all year, and the breakdown isn’t pretty.

Shot type Shooting percentage
3-pointer 12.5 percent (1-8)
Midrange 33.3 percent (1-3)
Layup 75.0 percent (3-4)

The 3-pointer James made was on his first attempt, back in the overtime loss to San Antonio — he made it with 2.4 seconds to go, tying the game in regulation. Since then, he’s 0-for-7 on 3-point attempts with fewer than three minutes to play in close games. It’s hard to win those games when your superstar is shooting so poorly.

LeBron James thinks Lakers center JaVale McGee could win Defensive Player of the Year

LeBron James thinks Lakers center JaVale McGee could win Defensive Player of the Year “We see when (McGee) goes off the floor what happens to our defense,” James told reporters this weekend.

With LeBron in the mix, it’s not clear if all those youngsters remain a part of the Lakers ’ Meanwhile, the Sixers – who met with James ’ representatives earlier today – will be another team to watch in the wake of LeBron ’s agreement 136 thoughts on “ LeBron James Signs Four -Year Deal With Lakers ”.

LeBron James has agreed to a four -year deal worth 4 million to come to the Los Angeles Lakers , his agent announced Sunday. The four -time NBA MVP announced Sunday night that he has agreed to a four -year, 4 million contract with the Lakers , joining one of the league's most storied

LeBron still adjusting

"It’s pretty simple," the coach said. "LeBron has a way he plays. The Lakers have a way they want to play. Those two things are not perfectly aligned, not yet."

When James’ teams are at their best, they force turnovers and attack in the fast break, but settle into half-court, pick-and-roll basketball when the break does not materialize. There is little doubt that this team has the fast-break aspect worked out — LA leads the league in fast-break scoring.

But the half-court offense stumbles. When Walton went to LA from Golden State, he took the Warriors’ philosophy with him, emphasizing perimeter shooting, spacing and ball movement, and less reliance on pick-and-rolls. That’s not happening here.

Already, the Lakers are running more PNR than they did last year, up by about four plays per game in the early going. The ball-sharing concepts have backslid, as the Lakers assisted on 58.4 percent of their field goals last year (17th in the league) but have dropped to 56.8 percent this year (19th). The 3-pointers have fallen off, too, from 34.7 percent of the Lakers’ shot attempts (17th) to 31.8 percent (24th).

LeBron James, Lakers dealing with four key problems as part of early struggles © Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited lebron-james-getty-101918-ftr.jpg

Rough early schedule

This is just simple counting — the Lakers have played many more difficult teams than easy ones so far, and that’s about to change. The only East team LA has faced has been the 10-1 Raptors, but they’ve got the likes of Atlanta, Orlando and Cleveland on the upcoming docket.

Lakers top Suns for first win, Devin Booker strains left hamstring

Lakers top Suns for first win, Devin Booker strains left hamstring Devin Booker scored 23 points before he left with the injury.

James joins a Lakers team that is expected to continue making moves this summer to add to a roster that now features the best basketball player on the planet. Now, James heads out West where the competition is stiffest. Paul George won’t be joining him after re-signing on a three-year deal to stay in

LeBron James agrees to four -year, 4m deal with LA Lakers . Not only would he bring the Lakers a great outside shooter but his departure would remove a key piece of the Warriors core no The Cavaliers team James pulled to the finals earlier this year was not as gifted as these Lakers .

The current records of the teams the Lakers have played in their first 10 games is 60-43. The next 13 games, starting with the win over Minnesota, will see teams with a combined record of 61-81.

Johnson’s criticism of Walton could well have been aimed at this stretch between early November and early December, when the Lakers should pile up some wins. They’re 5-6 now, but don’t be surprised if they’re 13-10 or better when the first full week of December begins.

Getting more defensive

"They were actually a pretty good team against the pick-and-roll last year," the scout said. "That has dropped off this year, and again, that happens with new teams, with guys who have to learn each other. That’s why everyone runs pick-and-roll, because you can expose those weaknesses."

There have been a number of weak spots for LA on the defensive end, and they’re hoping that bringing in backup big man Tyson Chandler can alter that. Chandler had a nice debut on Wednesday, but he is 36, and fans would be wise not to overblow his expected impact.

One reason, the scout said, is that the problem has been more at the top of the pick-and-roll as much as at the back side.

"I don’t see them switching effectively," the scout said. "They have some guys who can do that, like Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma. They have the build to be good at switching defensively and guarding in the pick-and-roll. But they’re young, and neither one of them is any good at it yet."

It’s little surprise, then, that the Lakers — who lead the league in points scored in the paint offensively — are 29th in the NBA in defensive points allowed in the paint (56.7 per game).

The Lakers play at the league’s third-fastest pace, which bloats those numbers a bit, but the defense allows a league-high 36.2 shots per game in the restricted area. That is 2.4 shots more than No. 2 on the list, far too many no matter the game’s pace.

LeBron James into top 5 NBA scorers: 5 quotes from league legends on his greatness.
James passed Wilt Chamberlain when he scored his 31,420th career point in the Lakers’ 126-117 win over the Trail Blazers on Wednesday. . LEBRON JAMES AND-1 TO MOVE UP TO 5TH ON THE ALL-TIME SCORING LIST! #LakeShow 121#RipCity 111 WATCH on @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!