The new-look Los Angeles Lakers took the floor for the first time together on Sunday night against the Denver Nuggets falling well short in a 124-107 loss.
There were some glimpses of promise, but all plenty of areas of needed growth and improvement for the Lakers, which is something that second-year forward Kyle Kuzma has acknowledged. (h/t ESPN)
“Everything is a learning process right now. Brand new team (and) brand new players still trying to get to know each, but I don’t imagine it taking that long to figure everything out.“
Los Angeles had some encouraging moments on the floor together that showed what the team could develop into. LeBron James was effective in his limited action nailing a pair of 3-pointers while dishing out three assists that all were plays that put his teammates in high-percentage looks.
Meanwhile, second-year forward Brandon Ingram excelled next to James while finding his shot finishing with 16 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor along with three steals. He had a strong sequence where he jumped the passing lane and got the steal that led to an impressive finish in track at the rim with his left hand.
Kuzma was also effective scoring 15 points despite shooting 3-of-14 from the field as he also had a solid block on the defensive end of the floor. Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee each had their moments that showed their potential impact on the team this season.
That said, it is a work in progress with much of that likely coming with their defense as the Denver Nuggets displayed a huge advantage with their cohesiveness already as a unit. Meanwhile, the Lakers looked like a team that has much work ahead of them. These next few games of the preseason could provide them the playing time together to begin building their chemistry on the court that will be a building block for their success.