The Los Angeles Lakers have dropped another game against a weakened opponent, falling 108-95 to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies played without Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks, Brandon Clarke, among others, when they hosted the Lakers on Thursday. That didn’t stop them from dominating the game from the second quarter onwards, leading to a blowout victory over L.A.
Head coach Frank Vogel said having “too much of a casualness to our approach” hurt his team against the Grizzlies. However, Anthony Davis said the casualness didn’t stem from the fact they underrated a short-staffed opponent.
“Nah, they’re in the league for a reason,” Davis said. “All these guys can play, make shots. I think when their star players are out, we got to lock in even more because these guys have no conscience. They want to come in and beat the [Los Angeles] Lakers, beat LeBron [James], beat AD. They want to beat Melo. They want these things. They want to say I gave the Lakers 30, 25, or whatever.”
The Lakers have been defeated by numerous teams that missed key players at the time of the matchup. Those included losses to the New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings — with the Kings having to cope without three starters — and the L.A. Clippers.
Not to mention the two defeats by the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are deeply in a transition period and right now belong to the worst teams in the NBA.
Davis thinks the Lakers need to adopt a mindset similar to the struggling sides when they face them.
“These guys already feel like they’re the underdogs when they’re coming in, especially when they’re without their star players and we got to play like we’re the underdogs,” the All-Star forward said. “Which, now, at this point of the season, the way we’re playing, a lot of games, we probably are.
“We got to be able to have that mindset. We got to come in and be scrappy and be the more physical team and play like we’re the underdogs.”
However, Davis remains optimistic about the Lakers’ long-term success.
“Personally, I think we’ll be fine. I think we’ll be fine. There’s no switch that we can hit. It shows in games over the course of the season that we can’t hit a switch, so we got to come out here and grind. Be the more physical team and start getting wins by any means.”
LeBron James says turnovers caused Lakers to lose to Grizzlies
The Lakers’ bad habits flared up again in Memphis as they struggled to protect the ball through the night. L.A. registered 22 turnovers, considerably more than their 16.1 season average — which already is the third-highest in the NBA.
LeBron James acknowledged the Lakers allowed sloppiness to creep into their play even though their ball security improved in recent weeks. And, the four-time NBA star thinks the sloppiness cost L.A. the game.
“Well tonight turnovers killed us,” James said.
“We’ve been doing a hell of a job over the last seven games averaging only 12.5 turnovers, and tonight we had 22 for 27 points. That’s been like our Achilles heel before the last seven games and tonight it bit us in the butt.”
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