NBA Analyst Explains Why Rivals Don’t Find The Lakers Intimidating

Published 10/29/2021, 8:30 AM EDT
Oct 27, 2021; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) has words with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Darius Bazley (7) after scoring a basket during the second half at Paycom Center. Oklahoma City won 123-115. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers have started the new 2021-22 NBA season in an astonishingly dismal fashion. The LeBron James-led franchise has lost three games out of the five games they played. Their two victories included results against the Memphis Grizzlies and the San Antonio Spurs. Lakers fans can only describe these as lucky wins, considering the close proximity of the final scores.

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Their disappointing start to the season has continued with a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Former NBA star Jay Williams slammed the Lakers for their tepid performance against OKC on ‘First Take’, a show on ‘ESPN’. He disclosed the Lakers did not intimidate the NBA’s younger players, and it thrilled them to face the Los Angeles-based franchise.

Oct 27, 2021; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) has words with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Darius Bazley (7) after scoring a basket during the second half at Paycom Center. Oklahoma City won 123-115. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Jay Williams said, “I’ve had some conversations over the last several days with some younger players in the league. Which is kind of shocking to me because I’ve never heard people say this about a LeBron James team. Where they don’t find the Lakers intimidating at all. People are actually excited about playing this team.

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Williams added saying, “And I think that’s more revealing to me than anything granted LeBron James hasn’t played. But if that’s Cameron Payne talking trash to him. I think there’s a level of players looking at them and saying “We don’t really respect the Lakers even though they got a championship.” This team is older. They don’t play with a sense of urgency, and yeah they could turn on here and there, but maybe they won’t.

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The Lakers lose to OKC Thunder in the absence of LeBron James

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The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder while putting up a halfhearted performance. An ejection in the fourth quarter added to the existing injury woes of the Lakers. LeBron James was a huge miss for the Lakers as he recovers from a sore right ankle. The game at the Paycom Center in Oklahoma City finished 123-115 in favor of the hosts.

Oct 27, 2021; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) is grabbed by the head for a technical against Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) on a play during the second half at Paycom Center. Oklahoma City won 123-115. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Two technical fouls resulted in the ejection of Russell Westbrook in the ultimate moments of the game. This resulted from an altercation Westbrook had with the Thunder’s Darius Bazley. Westbrook’s performance was respectable with 20 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists, but his 10 turnovers cost his team dearly. Anthony Davis‘ massive 30 points and 8 rebounds were not enough to suffice a victory.

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the scoring for the Thunder with 27 points. The Lakers will face LeBron’s former team Cleveland Cavaliers at home next.

Watch this story: Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis Carrying the Game to OT, Dejounte Murrays Triple Double and Other Highlights From Lakers vs Spurs

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Shalom Saldanha

135 articles

Shalom Saldanha is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his journalism degree, he has previously worked as a sports corresspondent for India Shorts/Business Upturn. A Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bucks fan, Shalom primarily got into the sport after discovering that he shared a mutual love for Arsenal with the 'Greek Freak'.

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