Lakers coach Walton confident of management support

Lakers coach Walton confident of management support

Walton was at the center of reports Saturday indicating president Magic Johnson reprimanded him for the Lakers' slow start after losing five games, though Walton said later that day he wasn't concerned about his job security and has meetings with management on a regular basis.

According to ESPN, Johnson admonished head coach Luke Walton after the team went 0-2 on a two-game road trip earlier this week. League sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin that Johnson's message to Walton increased the pressure on the coach to deliver winning results sooner rather than later, an about-face from Johnson's public comments regarding patience at the outset of training camp.

Much has been made of Magic Johnson's meeting with Walton where he was apparently not pleased with the Lakers' start to the season.

Even a win for the Los Angeles Lakers over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night was not enough to change the narrative in LA. The Lakers, who put up just 17 points in the opening quarter, became the first team in the past 20 seasons to trail by 30 or more points in the first quarter on their home floor. "That's how you get victories if you want to win".

This was the second straight game in which the Lakers avoided a collapse.

Portland's opening night hero Nik Stauskas left the arena with a glum look, his wife and family in tow, as Luke Walton praised his team's defensive effort. Unsurprisingly, the Lakers have struggled to win games this season despite being competitive in all of them.

Until things are set, however, Walton will continue to go with his gut feeling, and rely on the Lakers' culture to keep everyone engaged. "We knew it was going to be like that from the summer when 'Zo had the knee surgery".

The coach likes what he has seen from the starting lineup of James, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and JaVale McGee in the past two games but knows things could still be fluid over the next few weeks.

"I think the entire game we didn't shoot the ball really well from three", said Damian Lillard.

"The first and third quarters defensively we were pretty good and then we had two bad quarters". You guys are going to stay in the game until we finish winning. It feels good knowing that our team is getting better.

The headlines from Saturday will lead with the addition of Tyson Chandler.

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