The Lakers played their best preseason game last night, despite their loss to the Kings. It can be argued that Coach Frank Vogel threw the white flag early to save minutes for his stars, but a loss is a loss.
Basketball is a game of runs, and the Lakers getting outscored 35-23 in the first quarter sealed the Lakers' fate. The Lakers outscored the Kings in every other quarter, but the deficit was ultimately created early and proved to be the difference in the game. This is a conclusion drawn purely out of team statistics. The Lakers beat the Kings on most numbers except for free-throw percentage and three-point percentage. Can't win when the other team shoots better than you at both lines. Committing 16 turnovers does not help the cause, either.
The encouraging numbers were points in the paint and rebounding. The Lakers have been getting waxed in those two categories, but Thursday night they turned that around. Russell Westbrook was aggressive early, and LeBron James and Anthony Davis looked less rusty than in the previous games.
Thursday we polled whether Laker fans were concerned about the winless preseason.
70% of fans polled were not worried about the Lakers preseason results. Call it a fanbase that understands the value of patience, or perhaps a fanbase with a delusional sense of superiority, Laker fans aren't worried.
The Lakers' preseason has been mired by injuries, combined with the Lakers best players barely playing any minutes. Bigger than those two things, the Lakers are a brand new team of guys still looking for cohesion and balance. The detriment of a brand new team playing against a lot of teams with a deeper history cannot be overstated. The prospect of the Lakers having a slow start into the season has a high likelihood. I could see the Lakers starting with a losing record into November, and picking up the winning pace by the Holidays.