No one ever said it was going to be easy, but it’s the Lakers

“He’s competitive as hell, but I think the way he’s handling this year, I don’t know if I could do a better job,” Rondo told ESPN. “It’s tough: He’s having to teach at the same time as he’s trying to get wins, managing egos, and dealing with vets and leadership.

“Someone asked me today if we have enough plays. The game isn’t so much about having plays; it’s about playing the right way. Because if you have plays, you’re easy to scout. If you don’t have plays and you put guys in certain structures that have the right skills and know how to play in the game, then you’re a lot tougher to defend.”

It was starting to come together on Christmas, too. After experimenting with a different roster composition than any James-led team before, emphasizing playmakers over shooters, the Lakers saw enough to realize that it wasn’t working and transitioned into the style of play that’s been successful for previous James-led teams — James creates, and the team benefits.