There were times when the problems seemed to be causing the Lakers' problems. Business figures would accumulate in clusters, shooting selection would be suspect, defensive missions would be missed and the Miami Heat would do a little run.
But on a night when the Lakers were not at their best – and Friday, they were not near the goal – the team won its seventh consecutive game largely thanks to its confidence in her try to do. And for a new coach like Frank Vogel, it's a real feat.
"I think engagement in any training situation is important, and if you win early, it goes faster," said Vogel before the Lakers abandoned the Heat 95-80. "I hope we have made a good start in this regard."
They get off to a good start in almost every respect – they reach the NBA's best record while playing with the defensive spirit and execution that made Vogel's reputation as head coach in Indiana.
It's a real victory for him and his staff – and a real relief for one of the problems that could come with a slow start.
Nobody says that Vogel was not the Lakers' first choice to be the head coach. No one has wondered if Jason Kidd slipping on a chair would make the team better or their stars happier.
If the Lakers start 7-1 was the opposite, this kind of conversation would be almost guaranteed. We saw it in Miami, where James and the Heat were having trouble making Erik Spoelstra talk. We know how things ended for David Blatt in Cleveland.
And while coaches who get hired almost always get laid off, Vogel's start with the Lakers could not get better – unless you ask him.
"There are a lot of things we can do to play better – the two sides of the ball must continue to improve," he said before the game. "We are not doing enough transition and we are reversing the situation a bit too much. Our shooting selection can continue to improve. We do not do boxing and gang rebounds as I would like. The list is long, but we are well off. There is still a lot to do. "
But the Lakers have found a way to win while needing to improve, to absolutely lock the teams – a byproduct of the Lakers anxious about how they face the defensive side of basketball. After the match, Vogel said the team's internal statistics showed that the team had played 88% of the shots against Miami on Friday, a surprisingly high number.
"I was expecting a lot of what we could be," Vogel said.
But even Vogel is at least a bit surprised at what they are already.
The problem will come. This suits all teams. Vogel and his staff will continue to maintain relationships with James, Anthony Davis and the rest of the team. But as it has not happened yet, the Lakers are better equipped to do it.
"You have to understand that one way or another. But yes, obviously, you'd rather be successful than not, "said Spoelstra. "But you have to make sure that a group engages in the mud, even if it's not necessarily what's going on." The process you can not skip steps in this league – no matter how talented you are.
"And they do not skip the steps."