Scott Ferrall was watching the first quarter of Los Angeles’ season-opener against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday, and already he saw problems that will likely hamper the Lakers all season: poor shooting, poor rebounding, and Jeremy Lin not doing much of anything – and barking at the officials about it.
“Yeah and Jeremy’s not a guy who spends much time talking to the refs,” Bleacher Report senior NBA writer Howard Beck said on Ferrall on the Bench. “That’s not really his makeup.”
Lin finished with seven points on 1-of-5 shooting, and the Lakers lost, 108-90.
They trailed 62-45 at halftime.
“Look, the Lakers are in for a very frustrating season,” Beck said. “I feel like the thing to watch with the Lakers this season is how long is it going to be before Kobe starts to lose his mind? There’s just no help there. They don’t have much of a frontline, as you point out. Rebounding is going to be an issue. Shooting is potentially going to be an issue if the preseason means anything – because they were terrible shooting in the preseason.
“(I have) ultimate admiration for Kobe Bryant and what he’s been able to do the last couple years,” Beck continued. “I think a lot of guys would have said, ‘You know what? I’ve had a fantastic career. I don’t need to be trying to come back from Achilles injuries and knee injuries and everything else.’ And he’s out there still being an effective player.”
Bryant finished with a team-high 19 points on 6-of-17 shooting.
“It’s hard for any one guy,” Beck said. “Even Kobe in his prime would have a tough time carrying this roster through the playoffs, especially as tough as the Western Conference is. Kobe is going to give everything he has. We know that. I think he can still be very effective at this stage of his career. But he’s not a superstar anymore. He’s not up there with LeBron and Durant and the rest of these guys. He needs help. He doesn’t have it right now. I think things could get ugly for this team. There just doesn’t look to be enough help there.”
Elsewhere in the West, Anthony Davis showed Tuesday that he could be in for a special season. Davis finished with 26 points, 17 rebounds and nine blocks in a 101-84 win over Orlando.
“That’s how special he is,” Beck said. “I’ve been part of the chorus that says he’s about to make that leap into MVP discussion. It doesn’t mean he’s overtaking LeBron or Durant or these guys this year, but the ballot goes five deep. I think Anthony Davis is going to be on a lot of ballots next spring. He’s a wrecking crew on both ends of the court. His offensive game just grows every year. Defensively, nine blocks. I mean, that speaks for itself. The interesting thing for the Pelicans is going to be how well does that lineup gel around him?”
The Pelicans battled injuries last year, but they are now healthy and made some key acquisitions in the offseason. A lineup that includes Davis, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holliday, Omer Asik and Ryan Anderson could be quite formidable.
“This is a team that looks really intriguing,” Beck said. “I don’t know what to make of it yet, but there’s a lot of really intriguing talent there.”