Los Angeles

Lakers

Survey data collected from team site writers and editors.

6.6

Out of 10

I trust in management and the coaching staff

6.9

Out of 10

I enjoy rooting for these players and this franchise

8.9

Out of 10

I am optimistic about the direction of the team

A Q&A with Drew Garrison of SB Nation’s Lakers site Silver Screen and Roll.

What needs to happen for this to be an enjoyable season for Lakers fans?

The Lakers have to be an outright better team for this to be an enjoyable season. The last few years have been tough to watch, and the decision to take a detour from the direction they were previously heading needs to have some sort of positive impact. They may or may not be in position to be jostling for one of the final Western Conference playoff spots, but as long as they're competing and executing at a higher level, that will help soothe those growing pains.

Simply put, the Lakers have to be a better team. That's not asking for much considering they won 26 games last season.

LA Lakers
Position Starters Bench
Guards Lonzo Ball Jordan Clarkson Tyler Ennis Alex Caruso
Wings Brandon Ingram Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Kyle Kuzma Corey Brewer Luol Deng Vander Blue Josh Hart
Bigs Julius Randle Brook Lopez Larry Nance Jr. Andrew Bogut Ivica Zubac Thomas Bryant

What makes Lakers fans most excited about this year? What makes Lakers fans most nervous?

The most exciting thing about the Lakers is there's still so much we don't know about the group they have. Lonzo Ball is the obvious one everyone is watching, but Kyle Kuzma looks like a true Rookie of the Year contender already. Julius Randle is in a contract year and is in the best shape of his life, which could amount to a big season from the former lottery pick.

Brandon Ingram makes us most nervous, not because he doesn't have the potential, but because often it still feels like that's all he has. The Lakers are putting a lot of faith in the untouchable Ingram. How long until he starts paying that back?

What storyline might a national audience be missing about the Lakers?

The Lakers are under the microscope, so it's tough to say. But one of the most fascinating plots to watch develop through the season is how Randle performs as he heads toward restricted free agency. Players from his rookie class have been lining up their next extension money, but the former No. 7 pick has been in the cold all summer on that front.

The Lakers are trying to keep as much cap space open as possible, so extending Randle ahead of free agency was never going to happen. Julius has all season to prove himself not only to the Lakers, but to the entire NBA.

These things get complicated. Just ask Nerlens Noel.

Why should neutrals pay attention to the Lakers this year?

As much as we want to say tune in and watch Lonzo and the team set things right in Los Angeles, we wouldn't want to mislead folks into watching the Zo'Time Lakers until we see those results.

You should watch the Lakers because they're a young team with interesting top-tier prospects, and should be playing an up-tempo style that is enjoyable to watch. Their forward depth featuring Larry Nance Jr., Randle, Kuzma, and Ingram has to be one of the best young groups in the league.

Also, Brook Lopez will rain threes all season, and who doesn't like watching seven-footers pulling up like Stephen Curry in transition?

What's your prediction for the season?

30-52, only slightly better than last year, and the 12th seed in the Western Conference. What dooms the Lakers to another down year? Too much responsibility and expectations placed on Lonzo and Ingram to carry them this early in their careers.