Something is not working for the Los Angeles Lakers as they suffered their fifth straight loss on Friday night at the hands of the Sacramento Kings to fall to 2-10.
The Lakers’ margin for error with this roster is very thin, and it gets even thinner when a player of LeBron James’ caliber is not playing due to injury. Anthony Davis understands that, previously stating that he needs to be more vocal and aggressive in James’ absence.
That didn’t lead to a win on Friday night though as the Lakers fell short in what was a back-and-forth contest. After the game, Davis was asked if players are showing accountability and while he believes they are, he also expressed that they need to do a better job of actually correcting their mistakes.
“There’s a lot of, like, ‘My bads,’ which is good,” Davis said. “But we can’t have a lot of ‘my bads,’ especially during the course of the game. So guys are seeing what we’re doing wrong on film and we talk about it. ‘That’s on me. I got to do it. I got to get this rebound. I got to box out. I got to send him over the screen.’ Whatever. ‘Set a better screen,’ whatever the instance might be.
“But a lot of times, those are the plays that are killing us. So the ‘my bads’ are good so guys are knowing of their mistakes, but close-game situations, down the stretch, there’s some ‘my bad’ situations that we can’t have. It kind of costs us the game.”
The most glaring case of this came in the second quarter when the Lakers opened up a 13-point lead, playing some of their best basketball of the season. Some costly turnovers and silly fouls led to a Kings run to close the quarter though, cutting the Lakers’ lead to just four going into the locker room and giving their opponents momentum to build off in the second half.
While Davis believes the Lakers have shown they can have a high IQ, it’s the runs like that he wasn’t happy with.
“We have our moments. Have our moments where our IQ is high and our moments when our IQ was very low — from everyone. I think we’ve got to do a better job of having an awareness of time-score situation. For example, like the end of the first half, they’re going on a run, 6-0 run — ‘slow it down. We’ve got to get a quality look.’ Even if you miss, they’re not getting out in transition. Going into the fourth quarter, we start the fourth quarter with two turnovers.
“Things like that where it’s like … we’ve got to play winning basketball. Especially the way we’re playing, our record, we damn near have to play perfect basketball. A lot of times, it’s self-inflicted, which is the most frustrating.”
While Davis makes good points, eventually the Lakers are going to have to apply what he’s saying to the court or else the losses will continue to pile up and the season will be lost.
Ham echoes Davis’ thoughts
Lakers head coach Darvin Ham shared a similar sentiment as Davis after the game when it comes to the Lakers beating themselves.
“It’s just, you know, again, self-inflicted mistakes, whether we’re fouling or losing an assignment, or we turn the ball over,” Ham said. “Again, we got to be better, you know, we got to coach them harder, coach them better. Just make sure we’re communicating clearly. And so they can, we can put them in the chance and position to be successful.
“It’s the NBA, man. You throw records out the window. You give to any type of life. Normally, they’re gonna capitalize on it. And Sacramento did tonight. Even though they got down early, they kept fighting. They’re a hungry young team with a lot of offensively skilled players. Mike [Brown] is a hell of a coach, and they’re not gonna stop coming. They’re not gonna stop coming. So, we have some lows and, again, self-inflicted wounds that we definitely need to correct. We got 70 games left, but at some point, we got to stop saying that, right? We got to stop putting the proof in the pudding. And so tomorrow, you know, we’ll sleep on it tonight. Go over, watch the film, come tomorrow, have a good film session, a good practice and be ready for Brooklyn on Sunday.”
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