The Lakers seemed more interested in spitting on people than winning games at the start of the season! The “Showtime” team started the season 0-3, but after ten games their record improved by a small margin, disappointingly going 4-6. One of the many highlights of the first ten games was Lebron James missing two game-winning free throws in the third game of the season against the San Antonio Spurs. This caused the Lakers to lose the game in a thrilling overtime score of 143-142. Another early season highlight was Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo getting into a fight with Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets in game 2 of the season. After video replays, we saw Rondo spit on Paul which is what started the whole altercation. Rondo and Paul have disliked each other for years. The duo has gotten into multiple arguments on the court dating back to 2010. All their pent-up aggression between to two final turned into a fight. The NBA officials are severe when it comes to disciplining players who fight because of “The Malice in the Palace” fiasco which happened in 2004. Ron Artest of the Indiana Pacers went into the crowd with his former teammate Stephen Jackson and started punching fans who were throwing food at them. This altercation between Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo was not as serious as the “Malice” event but all the players who threw punches were ultimately suspended. Chris Paul was suspended for two games and Rajon Rondo was suspended for three games. On top of this Brandon Ingram of the Lakers was also suspended. Ingram came in after the fight was about to end and punched Paul again, thus earning himself a four-game suspension.
After the tenth game of the season, the Lakers signed Tyson Chandler who was the defensive player of the year for the 2011-2012 NBA season. After signing Chandler, the Lakers went on a four-game winning streak. During this winning streak, they defeated two teams who are expected to make the playoffs in the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Portland Trail Blazers. Tyson also had a game-saving block in the Lakers win over the Atlanta Hawks. Chandler was extremely emotional after the thrilling game and in the post-game interview, he talked about growing up in Los Angeles and always dreamed about playing in front of his home crowd as a Laker which is now a reality.
Star Power Forward Lebron James at this point in the season leads the Lakers in three main statistical categories, averaging 27.6 points per game, 7.9 rebounds per game, and 7.2 assists per game. One of the biggest surprises of the season is center JaVale McGee leading the NBA in blocks with 2.9 per game. It seems strange picking up a former defensive player of the year to backup a player who is leading the league in blocks but I think Chandler will compliment McGee very well. Tyson will provide excellent on-ball defense while JaVale will continue to make highlight plays blocking the ball. The Los Angeles Lakers are currently 11-9 and after a slow start, it looks like they are making good progress into becoming the team we all have hoped they could be since Lebron’s arrival. If they continue to play the brand of basketball they are playing right now for the remainder of the season, the Lakers have a strong chance at making the playoffs which they haven’t done since 2013!