Without LeBron James in motion most of the frailties of this Los Angeles Lakers team have been nakedly uncovered within the final week or so and Anthony Davis – the quantity two go-to man – is by no means glad.
The Lakers have been blown out by a Minnesota Timberwolves on a six-game skid after having misplaced video games to the Oklahoma City Thunder after which the Portland Trail Blazers since James went down with an belly pressure.
Overtime wins over the Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat haven’t been sufficient to paper over the cracks for a facet which is struggling to seek out stability and consistency, forward of this night conflict with the San Antonio Spurs – reside on Sky Sports YouTube channel.
The Lakers now sit 6-7, rating 27 out of 30 NBA groups in factors allowed per sport (112.3) and 24 out of 30 in offensive ranking (104.7). The numbers are worrying.
But greater than that, the collapse after half-time towards Minnesota suggests maybe some deeper points to take care of. The Timberwolves outscored the Lakers 40-12 within the third on Friday evening. The surge began with a gorgeous 29-4 run out of halftime, and Russell added 11 factors early within the fourth quarter because the underachieving Wolves rolled to their first win since October 27.
“We sucked,” Davis mentioned when requested concerning the third. “No defense. Can’t score. That’s not just this third quarter, it’s every third quarter we’ve played this season. We come out slow, lackadaisical offensively and defensively. We got to get it together. Why? I can’t tell you. But we got to do a better job.”
Including the mauling by the hands of Minnesota, the Lakers have been outscored by 83 factors within the third quarter this season, in line with analysis by ESPN Stats & Information. It’s the worst factors differential by any team in any quarter this season.
“We got to decide who we want to be. A championship team? That’s not us right now,” Davis mentioned. “We’re not winning a championship the way we’re playing. We got to be better, and we got to care more for our wins at home. Wins in general. That was embarrassing.”
After taking a five-point lead into halftime, L.A. shot simply 4-for-21 from the sector (19 per cent), together with 1-for-13 from 3-point vary (7.7 per cent), within the third quarter with six turnovers. Meanwhile, the Wolves shot 15-for-24 total (62.5 per cent), together with 7-for-13 from 3 (53.8 per cent), with simply three turnovers. They have been led by Karl-Anthony Towns, who personally outscored the Lakers 18-12 within the quarter.
“The inconsistency is a problem,” Russell Westbrook mentioned when requested about L.A.’s third-quarter woes.
Adding to L.A.’s letdown was the truth that the loss snapped a two-game profitable streak that was supposedly sparked by a related loss to the Portland Trail Blazers final weekend when the Lakers mentioned they vowed as a team to play with higher power and energy transferring ahead.
“Well, there’s no better motivator than a bad loss,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel mentioned. “I think our guys are angry, our coaching staff is angry, and we’ll get back to work and do whatever we need to do to fix it and get our execution better. And all of those things: effort, focus, execution.”
Davis mentioned the Lakers will profit from a movie session as a way to attempt to get again on observe forward of their subsequent sport towards the San Antonio Spurs.
“What we can’t do is, one, point the finger,” Davis mentioned. “You know, ‘It was you.’ ‘It was you.’ ‘It was you.’ ‘This play was you.’ Like, we got to stay together. And we’ll stay together. But also, we got to learn from the film. And so the film tomorrow is going to be big for us to have another heart to heart about these type of games. We hate feeling this way. Obviously, if we lose – we’re going to lose games, everybody loses games. But doing it the right way. Having a team actually beat us. Not beating ourselves.
“And these are the irritating ones, once we beat ourselves.”
For Westbrook, whose 33rd birthday on Friday was soured by a game in which L.A. trailed by as many as 33 points, the film will only reinforce what was abundantly clear during the game: This cannot be the team’s standard this season.
“Sometimes you realize it is time to let it go and transfer on,” Westbrook said. “Sometimes you cuss folks out and get on everyone’s ass and generally you simply sort of let it play out. We’ll watch movie tomorrow. We’ll sort of see the vibe, and I believe there’s not a soul in that locker room that does not know what we have been speculated to do tonight, and we simply did not do it.
“So, sometimes you just kind of… you already know. You don’t need to beat a dead horse.”
Watch the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs live on the Sky Sports YouTube channel from 8.30pm on Sunday evening.