Los Angeles Lakers third year head coach Luke Walton will enter his third season after going 35-47 in the previous season. This upcoming season will defeinitely be different for Walton and his Lakers team as this upcoming season will come with more expectations. If the Lakers don’t come out the gate firing on all cylinders most would think the pressure is on Walton.
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Not according to Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka in their second full season running the show for the Lakers.
After signing LeBron James during the off-season and adding other guys with championship experience (Rajon Rondo & Javale McGee) this season will be looked upon as a team expected to win more than 35 games. Magic Johnson in his second year as director of basketball operations told Walton “As I was talking to Luke [with GM Rob Pelinka], we said don't worry about if we get out to a bad start," Johnson, the Lakers' president of basketball operations, said Thursday as the team's brass met with the media. "We have seen that with LeBron [James] going to Miami, and we have seen that when he came back to Cleveland. He is going to struggle because there are so many new moving parts. But eventually we are going to get it, and we are going to be really a good team."
The young talent they have with Kyle Kuzma (First Team All-Rookie), Lonzo Ball (Second Team All-Rookie), Brandon Ingram (Second Team All-Rookie in 2017), and Josh Hart (Summer league MVP 2018) to go along with the veterans with a lot of experience, Walton will have to find ways to make everyone’s strengths mesh along with personalities now in that locker room.
The Lakers according to Johnson will still look to play with pace like they did last season as they were one of the teams who liked to run. "We're going to run," Johnson said. "Whoever gets it, we're gone. ... We've got a number of ball handlers, that's how we built this team. We won't rely just on LeBron making all the shots for people -- in terms of creating the shots for people or himself. We want him also to play off of it, but that's on Luke. I'm not here to tell you how the offense is going to go because that's not my job and that's not Rob's job. Luke will handle that situation and he's already been thinking about ways and utilizing not just LeBron but everybody."
With all that being said everyone will expect the Lakers to be better than 35-47. They have the best player in the game in LeBron James, a proven champion in Rondo, and hungry young guys who want to show that this upcoming season won’t just be about No. 23 but also the next step they have taken.
No one expects the Lakers to take down the Golden State Warriors, but they are expected to climb the ladder in their direction.