After pasting a Karl Anthony Towns-less Minnesota Timberwolves squad Sunday night, the Lakers are 2-1 through three and aside from the first quarter against the Clippers in the opener, have looked pretty good or better.
So what accounts for the solid beginning? For starters, the Lakers simply have more talent on hand than last year, and can attack opposing teams in more ways. Frank Vogel says they're a work in progress for another month or so, and that from the perspective of the coaching staff, in many ways they're still in a preseason mode. That's an encouraging sign, all things told, because so far, so good.
But within the early sample size theater, there are a few numbers that stick out. We play "Trend or Mirage?" with three of them, asking whether current trends will hold...
1) LeBron is averaging just over 28 minutes a game...
2) Montrezl Harrell and Dennis Schroder are averaging 22 shots a game, combined.
3) The Lakers are shooting nearly 40% from 3-point range.
From there, we break down a legitimately historical effort from Marc Gasol, and discuss what unlocking him fully means for a team like the Lakers. And we wrap with talk of an extension for Schroder. This early into the season, is there a risk for giving him a new contract?