The Los Angeles Lakers’ dismal road woes continued as they got completely embarrassed by the Houston Rockets on Wednesday evening, bringing them to 0-3 on the trip.
The Lakers looked like a team that wasn’t interested in playing as the game was never particularly close. Anthony Davis was a late scratch, and the defense predictably suffered because of it.
However, even without Davis Los Angeles had little to no competitive spirit and allowed Houston to do whatever they wanted.
Darvin Ham said that it’s been difficult to navigate all the obstacles the team has faced, but also acknowledged that no one’s pitying them, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“No one comes in wanting to be flat or a step slow or whatnot. Our guys came in to compete, they had it going a little bit early. Couple miscues, wasn’t really good on the ball defensively, our off-ball defense needed to be better. But at the end of the day it’s tough. We’re juggling different circumstances, guys being in and out of the lineup. But at the end of the day, no one’s going to feel sorry for you especially when you’re a Los Angeles Laker. So our biggest thing now being 0-3 on this road trip is to go into Phoenix on Friday and just be the hardest working, most competitive, most together team on the floor for 48 minutes.”
Offensively, Ham had some ideas on what the Lakers could be doing better:
“It feels like we’re second-guessing sometimes. Shots are there on catch, and maybe we hold it and now that shot is taken away just by not being able to make a quick decision. I think we need to play downhill more, obviously screening more. We watched the edit this morning on our pace, playing a little faster. Setting good screens, playing with the pass, and being disciplined with our spacing.
“But eight games in, and obviously, again, juggling different lineups. Different people, it seems like we have one person coming off injury and then someone else going on the inactive list. We just gotta juggle all of that. I’m not discouraged or anything because we haven’t been whole all year. The biggest thing for me is to keep coaching my team up in terms of that mentality, having a workman’s mentality and it’s controlling what we control. And that’s whoever’s in uniform that night, try to be on the same page but definitely try to go out and outwork our opponent. That’s the tone we’re trying to set at this point going forward to finish out this trip.”
The head coach also explained that despite the circumstances of multiple guys being out, he’s still hanging his head high and believes in the roster:
“It’s a reality of the business, injuries. You find out game time AD’s not playing and so that shifts your lineup, it takes guys out of their normal role where they know they’d be coming into the game and so it’s an adjustment. The biggest thing for me is I’m proud of my guys. We’re trying to fight through this rough patch and if it’s going to happen in a season I’d rather it happen now.
“We’ll figure it out, but I don’t think that mentality has changed. The biggest thing is we just have to try to compete harder. If things are not going our way, good, bad or indifferent we just gotta continue to take our focus up and get stronger as the game gets longer with our competitiveness, our togetherness and our force on both side of the ball.”
The purple and gold weren’t expected to struggle this hard out of the gate, so hopefully Ham and his staff can get them back on track sooner rather than later.
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