Opening night at the Staples Center did not go as many Laker fans had hoped it would. The new-look Los Angeles Lakers faced off with the Golden State Warriors in the first game of the season for both teams, and it did not end well for the purple and gold.
I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that we witnessed a stellar performance from the Lakers two best players in Anthony Davis and Lebron James. Davis dropped 33 points with 11 rebounds, while James dropped 34 and also had 11 rebounds, combining for 67 points. The problem was that the rest of the roster could only muster 47 points, including Westbrook’s measly 8 points on 4 of 13 shooting, 1of 7 from outside the paint. It’s not entirely surprising or out of character for Westbrook to have a poor shooting night, but he also dropped the ball in the other aspect of his game. Russ had recorded 4 assists and 5 rebounds which is pretty disappointing for the point guard. That might’ve not been entirely his fault, though, as coach Frank Vogel made some questionable decisions for some of the lineups he put out. Putting Rajon Rondo and Westbrook out on the court simultaneously just isn’t a great idea, and it showed in Westbrook’s stats; his plus/minus was -25 for the night.
It was an excellent night for Jordan Poole, who had a 20-point night and had started the comeback that led to the Warriors’ victory over the Lakers. To make the win sweeter, or maybe adding insult to injury in the case of LA, the team was still missing Klay Thompson, who is meant to return to by the start of the upcoming year. It was a great showing for the team as a whole. 6 GSW players were in the double digits in points, led by Stephen Curry’s first triple-double since January of 2016. The team made a statement tonight for all of the NBA to take notice and be concerned for when Thompson returns. For the Lakers, it’s clear that they have a long way to go if they want to reach championship contention.