On Monday night, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers dropped to 10-8 on the young 2023-24 NBA season with a brutal road thrashing at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers. Los Angeles put themselves behind the eight ball early on in this one, and James had a relatively pedestrian night by his standards, putting up just 18 points, five assists, and zero rebounds in a shocking 138-94 final margin of defeat.
Slow starts to games have been a recurring theme so far for the Lakers this year, with Los Angeles consistently finding themselves going down by double digits early on in games, and ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst recently broke down why he just doesn't think that that's a sustainable recipe for success for the Lakers.
“They fall down early, and once again, the Lakers are just not good enough in this incarnation to overcome these kind of starts,” said Windhorst on ESPN's NBA Today. “They're not good enough to overcome Anthony Davis being this dominated, even if it's by the MVP, and that's what happened in this game last night.”
Anthony Davis was indeed thoroughly outplayed by Sixers' big man and reigning league MVP Joel Embiid in the marquee matchup. While the Lakers do have some solid rotational pieces, and are dealing with injuries, there really isn't much shot creation outside of James and Davis, illustrating Windhorst's point about the team not being able to afford falling behind by significant margins early.
Up next for the Lakers is a road game against the Detroit Pistons.