The Los Angeles Lakers suffered their third consecutive loss and fifth straight road loss to start the season on Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets. Rui Hachimura and D’Angelo Russell led the Lakers in scoring, but it was an overall abysmal night on both ends of the court for L.A.
Once again, the Lakers got off to a slow start and found themselves in an early hole in the first quarter. They were also out-rebounded by 23 on the night and gave up 24 second-chance points, another issue that has plagued them throughout this early season.
But even sitting at 3-5 on the season, Russell is not panicking. The Lakers point guard spoke after the loss and said the team needs to relax and truly embrace the mentality of playing for each other, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:
“I think we just need to relax and figure out where the root of where we’re going to start trending in the right direction,” Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell said. “And I think getting healthy first is one. Two, just playing for one another. I think that’s the first start: having that mentality we’re going to play for each other and just make things easier for each other.”
When the Lakers had success down the stretch of last season and into the playoffs, it was a true team effort on both sides of the floor. The ball movement and chemistry was there on offense and the team locked in defensively to shut teams down.
That hasn’t been the case so far this season. Injuries have destroyed the team’s depth and the Lakers have been unable to figure out consistent rotations and thus, build up that chemistry and cohesion that is necessary for success. But Russell is right in that the Lakers can’t panic, but rather need to relax and find that starting place to begin turning things around.
That starts with getting healthy, but even when the Lakers have all of their players available, embracing that team mindset and everyone playing hard for each other is the best way they can flip the script and begin moving towards their ultimate goals.
Lakers hopeful Anthony Davis plays vs. Suns
As Russell said, the first step towards turning things around is getting healthy and Anthony Davis is at the top of that list. The Lakers star big man missed the Rockets game due to hip spasms, but the injury is not believed to be a serious one.
Though he missed one game, the Lakers are hopeful Davis will be able to return on Friday night in the final game of their road trip against the Phoenix Suns. It will also be the team’s first game of the inaugural In-Season Tournament.
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