The Los Angeles Lakers began the 2022-23 season by dropping their first five games. Of course, this is their first season under head coach Darwin Hamm. In the first 21 games last season, Los Angeles went 10-11 under Frank Vogel.
Despite winning eight overtime games in the 2021-22 season, L.A. finished 33-49 and finished 11th in the Western Conference, missing the playoffs.
According to some NBA betting sites, the Lakers have the 16th-best odds to win the championship in 2023. See which sportsbooks offer the best odds for the New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies.
“We’re a team on the rise, man. We want to keep getting better.” 📈 pic.twitter.com/tST5WspRwZ
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 3, 2022
Although the Lakers won their first game against the Denver Nuggets on October 30 and the New Orleans Pelicans on November 2, they lost their next five contests.
In Lakers franchise history, the team started 2-10 in the 1957-58 and 2015-16 seasons. Los Angeles has won back-to-back games this season after snapping two five-game losing streaks. The Lakers upset the Milwaukee Bucks 133-129 at the Fiserv Forum on Friday night.
After a 2-10 start to the 2015-16 season, the Lakers are now 9-12 and in 12th place in the Western Conference.
Anthony Davis led the Lakers with a game-high 44 points in 40 minutes. LeBron James finished with 28 points, eight rebounds, 11 assists and two steals in 37 minutes. James also passed Magic Johnson for sixth on the all-time assists list (10,144).
After the win, LeBron felt it was the best game he, Russell Westbrook and Davis have played together since the front office traded for Westbrook last August.
Speaking of Westbrook, even though the nine-time All-Star is averaging a career-low 15 points per game, the guard is still showing his value as a sixth-man option. He has committed zero turnovers in two straight games.
With tonight’s 133-129 win over the Bucks, LeBron James became the seventh player in NBA history to reach 900 wins.
via Lakers PR
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) December 3, 2022
After Los Angeles’ 120-114 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Nov. 11, the team went 7-2 and Westbrook came off the bench. During that stretch, Davis scored at least 30 points in five of those games.
Have the Lakers turned a corner? Through 21 games this season, the team is averaging 114 points per game, which ranks 13th overall in the NBA. Their offensive efficiency rating ranks 23rd (1.077), but the Lakers are now shooting 47 percent from the floor.
At the same time, the team is allowing 115 points per game, 12th worst in the league. That’s an improvement, though, after posting at least 120 points nine times this season. The Lakers’ poor defensive performance was the result of last Saturday’s 143-138 win over the San Antonio Spurs.