LeBron James is in for a long season. After dominating the Eastern Conference for the last 15 years, he made a move out west and the game's best player is quickly learning that every night is a challenge.
He only played the first half against Sacramento on Thursday evening in the Lakers' 128-123 win. That's the plan early in the preseason as James acclimates to his teammates. Despite seeing limited court time, he still managed to score 18 points, dish out four assists and grab three rebounds in 15 minutes.
Sacramento doesn't have a natural matchup to run up against James. Justin Jackson got the start opposite the 14-time All-Star and didn't fair well. Kings coach Dave Joerger gave rookie bigs Harry Giles III and Marvin Bagley III a look against James for short stints as well.
The Laker should be improved this season, but judging from their early performance, they will struggle against the talented and deep Western Conference.