Here are three lessons from a tough loss to the Brooklyn Nets for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Los Angeles Lakers probably can’t wait to get on a plane to get back to California. For three reasons. One, like the song Toni, Tony, Tone says…It never rains in Southern California. Two, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram will be close to returning. Finally, this road trip was a complete mess.
The Los Angeles Lakers have until Friday to figure out their issues from the road trip losing to the Brooklyn Nets 115-110 in the Barclay’s Center. After building up momentum going on the road, the Lakers come back home with defensive issues due mostly in part to JaVale McGee being out with the flu, and the total inability to play the pick and roll.
After a game where LeBron James and Lonzo Ball made history posting matching triple-doubles…
Then watching John Wall make a point to embarrass Lonzo Ball…
It was the best of times and the worst of times leading into a game that the Lakers needed to feel good about themselves. It’s a lot better to get a split at 2-2 instead of 1-3. Unfortunately the Lakers are dealing with the latter scenario. This road trip was a chance to really string together a win streak with all of the teams sporting a record less than .500. With three losses, this has to be considered a bad road trip.
Throughout the season, there has been a ton of discussion about the nuances of this team. Does the team have the right players? Does the team have the right coach to lead this team? Is the front office to blame? Is LeBron James doing enough? There are plenty of opinions on what this team needs to do going forward to be successful.
Here’s what this team needs to do to be successful…commit to playing defense for 48 minutes! On Sunday after the game, LeBron James said there should be no excuses (writers note…skip to one minute to hear the quote!)
So with that being said, the Lakers again looked listless and allowed the Nets to stay around and in the 4th quarter, D’Angelo Russell burned them at the end. For the second straight game, the Lakers played a team with a player that had their games sharpied on their calendar.
On Sunday, it was John Wall. In this game, it was D’Angelo Russell.
D’Angelo Russell, who was the Lakers second overall pick back in 2015, was traded to the Nets by Magic Johnson when the keys to the franchise was handed to Lonzo Ball. It was clear that Russell was hurt by the trade and played like he wanted to make a point.
The one subject that will be all over talk radio will be all about Russell and what could have been. Russell scored 22 points and dished out 13 assists which will start the discussion of how Magic Johnson made a mistake in letting Russell go (For the record, he didn’t) and how the Lakers would be faring if he was the point guard instead of Lonzo Ball.
What will get lost is how the Nets competed on the defensive end and played hard and executed. In short, they competed. Kind of like this…
Here we go, let’s get to the lessons!
Source: “Los Angeles” – Google News