The hope for the Los Angeles Lakers was that the team could come out of the All-Star break strong, figure out the right combinations and lineups, and make a good run towards the playoffs. Unfortunately, it has been more of the same for the Lakers, who have lost six of seven since the break and are in danger of falling out of the Play-In Tournament altogether.
The team continues to say the right things about continuing to fight and turn this around. With LeBron James continuing to play at a high level, and hopefully a return from Anthony Davis, who was playing well before going down to injury, the Lakers could conceivably be dangerous in a wide-open Western Conference should they make that final eight.
But apparently, those around the team don’t have their hopes up on a potential run either. According to Dan Woike of the L.A. Times, multiple staff members are ready for, and expecting, an end to this season very soon:
Multiple conversations with staff members and players have included the some version of the phrase, “at least there’s only a month left” — not exactly the kind of message you hear from a group with realistic visions of playing until early summer.
Considering everything that has happened to the Lakers this season, this mindset around the team isn’t difficult to understand. The team just hasn’t clicked, along with multiple injuries to the team’s star players, and it just seems like there is no hope for any sort of turnaround.
For a team that came into the season with championship expectations, this has been a far cry from that. There is only a small separation from the Lakers being out of the Play-In Tournament completely and even if they do qualify, they will have to win consecutive games against likely the New Orleans Pelicans and either the Los Angeles Clippers or Minnesota Timberwolves, whom they are a combined 1-7 against so far this season.
This season has gone about as bad as it possibly could for the Lakers and it sounds as if some around the team are just ready for it all to be over.
Vogel admits “it’s hard” to see Lakers unable to build momentum
What has been frustrating for the Lakers has been their inability to go on an extended run of strong play. Every time the Lakers seemingly pick up a big win that could potentially spark a run, they are unable to build on it and head coach Frank Vogel spoke on this frustration following the team’s most recent loss to the Houston Rockets.
“It is hard losing,” Vogel said. “Pouring everything that you have into trying to get some traction for this group. It’s definitely hard, but we’ve got resolve and we know this is a tough stretch that we got to fight through until we can get healthy. Try to win as many games as we can.
“Obviously, we thought that the Golden State game was going to be one that could swing some momentum for us. We didn’t win the next-man-up game in San Antonio. I thought we could capture it again tonight, but we fell short.”
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