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Ashley Landis/Associated Press
The Lakers certainly are enjoying the start of the 2020-21 NBA season.
Although a no-look shot can provide a spark of excitement, the Lakers’ 7-0 road record is far more important long-term. They’re already the league’s last undefeated team on the road.
We’ll tip off the latest rundown of updates involving the Lakers by exploring that valuable trend.
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Carmen Mandato/Associated Press
After beginning the season with four straight home games, the Lakers have played seven of the last nine outside of Staples Center. And they’re off to a historic start.
Thanks to a 29-point victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, Los Angeles set a franchise record. Never before had the Lakers opened 7-0 on the road.
“We just have a bunker mentality on the road—just us,” LeBron said, per Cliff Brunt of the Associated Press. “But obviously, it’s even more just us because of the restrictions, covid, everything that’s going on. So we’ve come together even closer.”
LeBron also stressed the importance of focus and energy.
“You’ve got to be able to at times build up your own energy. Like tonight, we come off a back-to-back, three in four nights. For us to come off a back-to-back—in Houston … getting in late to OKC and coming out to an arena with no fans—you’ve got to prosper your own energy from your group, yourself.”
That resilience will really be tested soon; the Lakers have a six-game road trip from Jan. 21 to Feb. 1.
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Brandon Dill/Associated Press
When the Lakers acquired Dennis Schroder in the offseason, they quickly began exploring an extension. The 2020-21 season is the final year of the starting guard’s current deal.
And in just 13 games, the roster’s chemistry has attracted Schroder and solidified his interest in signing a new contract.
“It’s amazing,” Schroder said, per Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll. “That’s the reason why I think I want to be here long-term.”
Understandably, it came with a caveat.
“But like I said before, it’s got to be fair on both ends,” he added. “If it’s fair, then, I ain’t got no problems. It’s gonna be great to be here long-term, for sure.”
Schroder is averaging 14.2 points, 4.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds for the championship favorite. Literally every player in that situation should be interested in re-signing. At 28 years old next summer, this is Schroder’s best chance at a high-dollar deal. There’s no shame in eyeing a raise if deserved, either.
According to HoopsHype, he’s due $15.5 million this season.
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LeBron attracted more attention than usual against the Thunder.
Midway through the second quarter, he turned a casual three-pointer into a potentially iconic moment. James shot, turned to the bench and watched the bench explode in celebration. The background of the situation only adds to the entertainment.
“I told him to bet a Benjamin on it, so he shot it,” Schroder said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “Shot it and turned around and said, ‘Bet.’ Then, it went in. It’s just legendary.”
LeBron also provided his side of the story.
“I took the bet while I was still shooting the ball,” he said. “A bet isn’t official until you look a man in the eye, so I had to look him into the eye, and I was able to win that.”
Ultimately, the shot means little. But it’s a funny reminder of the things we normally don’t hear or see on TV during games.