Why Luke Walton isn’t on the hot seat

Why Luke Walton isn’t on the hot seat

Walton however played down any suggestion that his job could be at risk in comments to reporters on Friday.

Walton insisted that he remained in regular communication with the front office and that his meeting with Johnson had been routine.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) talks to Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) during a break in the action in the first quarter against Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center.

With a three-time National Basketball Association champion, four-time MVP and 14-time All-Star like James on the team's roster and a host of young talent, Johnson expects significant improvements from the Lakers.

Johnson cited James' slow starts when he first joined the Miami Heat and returned to Cleveland and said he told Walton not to worry if there was a rocky start in Los Angeles.

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After defeating the Lakers 16 straight times, a streak covering a span of 1,706 days, the Trail Blazers dropped their first game to Los Angeles in almost five years with a 114-110 loss in front of a sellout crowd of 19,848 Saturday night at the Moda Center.

Luca Doncic tied it at 113-113 on a jumper, setting the stage for James' game-winning free throw. "We know this is going to happen. But eventually we are going to get it, and we are going to be a really good team". They got out in transition, hit a few threes, got to the rim, got to the line.

The Lakers nearly blew a big point lead late but managed to hold on for the win.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Lakers had utilized 93 different player combinations through their first seven games, second only to the Hawks' 122. "We've got to figure groups out", Walton said.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports the meeting elevated the awareness within the coaching staff that the pressure is on to make the Lakers competitive in the near future. I'd have to go back and look at it, but usually it's two or three things.

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