The Los Angeles Lakers held a team meeting last week ahead of Sunday's game against the Brooklyn Nets, with Anthony Davis calling the meeting emotional but necessary for the team to move forward.
"Lot of emotions," Davis said, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. "Guys voicing their opinions. Some back-and-forth. But it was all for the nature of trying to get better. So even though it might be a back-and-forth, it was, 'OK, I hear what you're saying, you hear what I'm saying. So now, what's the solution?' Instead of just constantly butting heads. So it was some good dialogue."
The Lakers went on to earn a 116-103 win over Brooklyn, snapping a five-game skid in the process. They've subsequently got four days off thanks to an NBA scheduling quirk and do not play again until Friday against the Detroit Pistons, another winnable game.
LeBron James practiced Wednesday and could return against Detroit after missing two games with a groin injury. Four of the team's next five games come against teams that entered the season firmly in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes (Detroit, San Antonio Spurs), so if there is any time for the Lakers to turn the season around, it's now.
The Lakers sit at 3-10. Only two teams—the Pistons and Rockets—have a worse winning percentage.
James looked like Father Time was finally winning the battle before he suffered another soft-tissue injury that could plague him moving forward, while Davis has been solid but ultimately unspectacular—particularly as a shooter. With Russell Westbrook now plying his trade leading bench units, it will be up to James and Davis to prop up a weak supporting cast.
"I think things are moving in the right direction," Westbrook said. "That's all you can ask for."
Things have to move in a positive direction—and fast—for these Lakers to save their season. The front office has been exploring a Westbrook trade for several months but has been hesitant to unload the Lakers' only available first-round picks in 2027 and 2029. Given the team's current plunging toward the bottom of the league standings, that's an understandable position to take.
That said, if things start to move in the right direction—and Westbrook continues his strong play off the bench—the trade winds might start moving again in the direction of a blockbuster.