Let me start by saying, when your team suffers their worst loss in franchise history (49 pts), I’m not sure any article on that team is worth reading…But I love this Lakers team and I will try to make some of this make sense.
After 48 games into the season this Lakers roster is 16-32. Yes they will win more games than last season, but things are looking real ugly. The Lakers have played the most games in the NBA and what started out as a fun, hopeful season has turned into something fans didn’t expect.
I don’t want to insert excuses into this journey so I try not to over play the “young” narrative when talking about this team. Reality is, youth is being displayed from the team and coach Luke Walton.
The inconsistencies from players have been very frustrating for Lakers fans and the lack of defense has been disturbing to say the least. There seems to be a lack of chemistry from the starting unit and a need to play isolation ball down the stretch from the bench. Former Laker Hall of Famer James Worthy was recently said that
“Don’t con me with words…you’ve got to change things”
which many around the organization know something has to change.
D’Angelo Russell (who is expected to miss 1-2 weeks with a knee and calf injury) shows flashes of the player we all know he can be but his inconsistencies are being exposed. DLo (in my opinion) may need to be moved to the 2 guard position. Yes, he can pass but his lack of athleticism is exposing him, along with the fact that he shoots the ball well when he catches and shoots. Coaches may be seeing this because they only played him 17 mins in the Denver Nuggets game before he was injured early in the game against the Indiana Pacers.
Julius Randle doesn’t look great but you can see his growth. Randle is a strong player and he’s learning that he can easily confuse defenses with his ability to pass from the inside out. Nick Young isn’t shooting as well and Lou Williams has been off as of late too. Our bigs from Timofey Mosgov to Thomas Robinson and Tarik Black aren’t stopping anyone from getting to the paint.
The coaching staff has to get a little better with rotations as well. Sometimes we watch Jordan Clarkson jack up shot after shot when his jump shot isn’t falling. I think that is when coach Luke and crew have to pull players and remind them this is a team game and we can’t win without getting others involved.
What is the issue?
I’m not too sure what to make of this Lakers slide. The Lakers were 10-10 28 games ago and after a barrage of injuries, they haven’t looked like that team we saw in November. I doubt the Lakers have locker room issues but the brotherhood we hear them speak of in post -game interviews isn’t the same brotherhood we see on the court. The Lakers have lost many double- digit leads and it’s all a direct result of isolation ball and no defense. And let me repeat: NO DEFENSE. Hopefully the coaching staff can get this team back on track and the next couple of months are fun for the players and the fans.