Opening Night! The Lakers opened the new season with an entertaining but disappointing loss at home to the Golden State Warriors. It was the team’s first full capacity crowd since the pandemic shut down the NBA in March of 2020 and the sell-out crowd got to see Russell Westbrook join LeBron James and Anthony Davis for the first time in the regular season.
The story of the night was Westbrook’s struggles as he continues to adjust to his new team and role while LeBron and AD looked like they had not missed a beat after injuries marred their season last year.
One additional note to come out of this game was Avery Bradley who nearly sparked a fourth-quarter comeback the day after he was signed by the team (after being waived by the Warriors). Bradley spoke about his performance after the game.
Injury Woes Continue: The Lakers were without Talen Horton-Tucker, Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington, and Kendrick Nunn on Tuesday. THT and Ariza’s long-term outlook is already known. Ellington is working on a hamstring injury with an undetermined recovery time. Nunn, who was already nursing an ankle injury, is also suffering from a bone bruise in his knee, an MRI revealed, that will keep him out for at least two weeks.
Top 75: The NBA released their list of the top 75 players of all time in three installments this week and of course, it was littered with former and current Lakers. All 50 members of the 50th-anniversary version of this event made the top 75 list. Among the newcomers of note were Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony, and Russell Westbrook. The most notable Lakers to be snubbed were Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol.
The complete NBA 75th Anniversary Team:
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 21, 2021
What We Wrote This Week
Alex got our week started with a Monday Mailbag that answered the extremely important question “Which Laker would win Squid Game?”
On Tuesday, we previewed the NBA season with two posts. Donny predicted the order of importance for all 15 players currently on the Lakers’ roster. Honi asked 20 questions we hope can be answered this regular season.
On Wednesday, Honi wrote about Westbrook’s debut, the reaction, and how the Lakers need to adjust to “let Russ be Russ.”
On Thursday, Walt wrote about one of the early concerns of the Lakers roster: a lack of depth on the wing.