The rest of the world may be doubting that the Los Angeles Lakers can compete in the Western Conference, but not Kobe Bryant. When asked about the Lakers’ 1-2 start on back-to-back-to-back games, Bryant says they “shoulda won all three.”
Maybe they should have, but they didn’t. They should have been able to hold onto a 6-point lead with a minute left against the Chicago Bulls, but they didn’t. They probably should have been able to beat their California neighbors to the north, but they didn’t. So while Kobe thinks the Lakers should be 3-0, they aren’t, and they need to be worried.
So far the Lakers have been generally unimpressive. Bryant is clearly still the team leader, but other players are going to have to step up to take some of the weight off his shoulders. They don’t have the skill players that they’re used to, so they’re going to have to work on getting some team chemistry going.
This 66-game season is too short to get off to a bad start. Kobe says the Lakers are still trying to break themselves of habits they learned under Phil Jackson and transition into Mike Brown’s system. Well Brown should be working with his team to try and make that transition easier. They had a short training camp and two preseason games, you can’t be installing new and complicated systems with that kind of prep time.
The Lakers are up against the New York Knicks next and then a back-to-back with the Denver Nuggets, who don’t look too bad so far this year. Their next three games could be as telling as their first three, and I’m sure Kobe thinks they should win all three.