The Los Angeles Lakers opened the season looking for vengeance against the Denver Nuggets on opening night. Instead of getting vengeance, the Lakers just reminded fans that they are still not on the Nuggets’ level with an opening night loss.
This was not the kind of start that Lakers fans were hoping for but there is a long season ahead. Great teams learn from games like this and the Lakers should take a long look in the mirror to improve.
Certain players on the Lakers roster need to take a longer look in the mirror. There were multiple players — whether it was their fault or not — who were massive disappointments in the Lakers’ loss to Denver.
3 Lakers who were massive disappointments in loss vs Nuggets
1. Anthony Davis
This list cannot start with any player other than Anthony Davis. Davis looked absolutely dominant in the first half as he looked primed to make the leap into being the top-10 player that Lakers fans have been thinking that he is for years now.
Then the second half started and all of those promising expectations crashed back down to earth. Davis did not score a single point in the second half and was rightfully roasted by the NBA world because of it.
Davis needs to step it up in big matchups and cannot keep shrinking when the lights get the brightest. Luckily, there are 81 games for Davis to right the ship. But if this version of Davis shows up in the playoffs the LA is toast.
2. Rui Hachimura
There was a lot of hype around Rui Hachimura heading into the season. Hachimura was in the lab with LeBron James all summer after receiving a three-year, $51 million contract from the Lake Show.
There was a lot of anticipation around Hachimura being this fantastic bench scorer that would lengthen the Lakers’ bench. While that potential is certainly still there for the entire season, Hachimura did not get off to the kind of start that he was hoping for.
Hachimura looked a lot more like the Washington version of himself than the Los Angeles version. The former lottery pick scored just six points on 3-10 shooting while going 0-3 from three. Even worse, Hachimura only got 15 minutes of playing time in a rotation that was already thinner at forward because of Jared Vanderbilt’s injury.
3. Max Christie
Darvin Ham decided to not play Max Christie. Christie got just one minute of playing time against the Nuggets and it came in garbage time with the outcome already decided. In his place, Ham opted to go with Cam Reddish, who actually played quite well on both ends.
Like the other two players on this list, Christie entered this season with expectations that he would make the leap in his second year. Lakers fans were extremely amped about Christie after seeing him in the Summer League and in the preseason. The scoring two-guard had arrived.
Well… not yet. Lakers fans should have expected a second-year 20-year-old who was a second-round pick to still be raw. Ham obviously thinks that Christie is still raw and it might be some time until he is an actual member of the rotation.