It’s no secret that the Lakers have struggled to start the year, limping to an 8-7 record as they battle injuries and a roster overhaul.
Things could only get harder from here as the team embarks on a five game road trip in the Eastern Conference following their home-heavy start to the season.
If you ask the Lakers players and head coach Frank Vogel, however, they are all looking forward to the new opportunity on the road. After the blowout loss to the Chicago Bulls on Monday, a visibly frustrated Vogel said that the Lakers “welcome the road trip.”
“It’ll be good for us,” Vogel continued. “We’ve been struggling, a little bit up and down […] A change of environment should be good for us.”
The Lakers will face four teams – the Bucks, Celtics, Knicks, and Pacers – that should be in the thick of the playoff race in the strengthening Eastern Conference during this road trip, with the only “easy” game coming against number one overall pick Cade Cunningham and the Detroit Pistons.
The strong competition should draw better focus from a Lakers team that has often lost it at various points of a game. With much to prove, perhaps Russell Westbrook’s claim that the team could build “cohesiveness and togetherness” on the week-long trip can come true, especially with news that LeBron James could make his return on Friday against the Celtics.
Before that, however, the Lakers have a date with the defending champs in Milwaukee with an opportunity to get a signature victory that could potentially galvanize a team whose long term desires has not matched its short term performance.
As Carmelo Anthony put it, the only goal moving forward is to “get the win Wednesday.