When Timofey Mozgov talked with his wife after the Lakers rolled past Houston in their season opener, she went as far as to compare the atmosphere at Staples Center that night to the NBA Finals.
Mozgov played in the last two Finals for Cleveland, and third-year Laker Jordan Clarkson certainly knows how loud the Los Angeles crowd can get, saying that winning in front of the home fans is the “best feeling in the world.”
But now the Lakers will be without that feeling for the next week, as they embark on a four-game road trip through Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis and Atlanta.
“That’s just one (game),” said Jordan Clarkson, who led the opening victory with 25 points. “We’ve got to keep it going. We want to go on a streak. We want to win more games. That’s what we’re going on this road trip to do.”
This will be the first such trip for second-overall pick Brandon Ingram, who will get his introduction to life on the NBA road this week.
“This is different for me in that we just played yesterday and we’re already on the road,” Ingram said. “It’s going to be fun.”
Last year’s No. 2 pick, D’Angelo Russell, remembers his first time on the road and how his veteran teammates helped him realize the importance of maintaining a routine while away from L.A.
However, he doesn’t anticipate having to speak directly to Ingram about how to handle this trip. instead, he thinks the 19-year-old will figure everything out on the court.
“Words aren’t really going to get him over the hump,” Russell said. “It’s all about getting out there and getting the butterflies out first.”
Russell and Ingram’s coach, Luke Walton, is fresh off of his first career victory as a head coach, but he’d rather keep perspective, saying it’s OK to celebrate wins and lament losses but important to forget about the previous game either way by the morning.
This is one of the many aspects he believes Ingram will learn in his rookie season.
“The road is tough in this league,” Walton said. “We have all the confidence in the world in Brandon, but it’s like everything else in this league: You have to experience back-to-back games and flying in different time zones.
“It’s early in the season, so I think he’ll be alright, but it’s part of this rookie process of learning the NBA game and life.”