Lakers Star LeBron James Puts Roster on Notice After Loss to Warriors

LeBron James

Getty Images LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers spent most of opening night chasing the Golden State Warriors in a 123-109 loss thanks in part to some miserable shooting.

The Lakers shot just 43% from the field and 25% from deep, hitting on just 10 of their 40 3-point attempts. Many of the shots from beyond the arc were good looks but the Lakers just could get them to go down, which became especially painful during a third quarter as the Warriors built a hefty lead.

After the game, Lakers star LeBron James issued a very candid reaction to his team’s struggles.

“I mean, I don’t know. I think we’re getting great looks and I think there also could be some teams giving us great looks,” James told reporters. “To be completely honest, we’re not a team that’s constructed of great shooting. And that’s just what the truth of the matter is. It’s not like we’re sitting here with a bunch of lasers on our team. But that doesn’t deter us from still trying to get great shots. When you get those opportunities, you take them. But we’re not sitting here with a bunch of 40-plus [percent] career 3-point shooting guys.”

LeBron James: ‘Continue to Trust the Shot’

James was 3-of-10 from deep and Kendrick Nunn — who was 3-of-6 — was the only other player to make more than one 3-pointer. It was a focus for the Lakers this offseason to try to put more shooting around James and Anthony Davis but it’s clear they have some work to do.

“You continue to trust the shot,” James said, taking accountability for his own misses. “You put in the work out on the floor when the cameras are not watching, then you trust it. … I put the work in here, so I live with those results. And if everybody is putting in the work, you live with those results.”

What helped the Lakers’ cause was that the usually sharpshooting Warriors were a bit off their game as well. Golden State shot 45.5% from the field and 35.6% from beyond the arc. Superstar Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and the freshly-extended Jordan Poole combined to go just 8-of-28 from 3-point land.

Lakers Looking to Stay Aggressive Despite Struggles

The Lakers clearly have a lot to figure out as they integrate their new-look roster, with just six players returning from last year’s team. The Lakers trio of James, Davis and Russell Westbrook did play solid, combining for 77 points.

“I think we played well,” Davis said after the loss to the Warriors. “We wanted to come out and everybody be aggressive. I think last year at times we were playing selfless, like, ‘Here [you take it].’ … It took away our aggression. At certain moments throughout the game, one of us three were aggressive, and it worked out for it to look good.”

The big question looming for the Lakers is the role of Westbrook, who did start on Tuesday night against the Warriors despite rumors he may come off the bench. Head coach Darvin Ham hopes to establish a consistent starting group.

“We don’t want to be one of those teams,” he said, “where teams are swaying according to who their opponent is starting.”

The Lakers have another chance to get in the win column on Thursday when they take on the Clippers.

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