Reggie Miller explains why he thinks the Lakers will ‘start slow’ this season

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

While the Los Angeles Lakers get set to defend their NBA title, Hall of Famer Reggie Miller’s expectation is that the team will struggle during the early portion of the 2020-21 season.

Miller offered his comments during a Zoom conversation with reporters and first indicated the idea that LeBron James’ high level of performance won’t slip. Miller then noted that the Lakers will need some time before the team gets comfortable with the new additions to the roster.

“You always start out by saying LeBron James and his age,” Miller said. “We keep saying that and he keeps proving all of us wrong. He is Mr. Benjamin Button himself. So let’s just take that off the table. To me the Lakers will at the end of the 72-game regular season be the team to beat. But I think they’ll start slow because you are integrating a lot of new pieces.”

Another potential factor in any slow start is that the Lakers and Miami Heat are in the unique situation of having the shortest offseason in NBA history. Those two teams faced off against each other in the finals, with the Lakers winning in six games to capture their first championship since 2010.

During that brief offseason, the Lakers added three key additions to the roster: Marc Gasol, Montrezl Harrell and Dennis Schroder.

Miller offered advice on how the Lakers can assess how well they’re playing during the season, with the first month of the season not serving as a time to panic if they do get off to a slow start.

“If I’m LeBron and if I’m AD (Anthony Davis), I’m not focused in on the first 20 games,” Miller said. “Do we want to compete and play well? Yes But to them, they want to find a rhythm the last 20-25 ballgames. So if they’re hovering around .500 [after 20 games], a few games above it, I’m not gonna think the earth is shattering. Now come 40 games and they’re hovering around .500, that’s something else.”

The Lakers will officially get their season going next Tuesday night, when they take on the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.