The Los Angeles Lakers once again lost last night and the team with title aspirations is currently sitting at the third spot in the Pacific Division with an 8-10 record.
Los Angeles held a 17-point lead in last night’s game against the Houston Rockets, but they could not maintain the large advantage. The Lakers played horrendous defense in the fourth quarter and the Rockets opted to use the “Hack-a-Dwight” tactic late in game. The Lakers shot 22-34 as a team from the line, but Howard continued to struggle as he went 8-16.
However, after the game Howard spoke to Yahoo! Sports and said that the Lakers lost last night’s game due to their poor defense, not because of his poor free throw shooting.
“We allowed them to get back into the game. It wasn’t just about free throws. … It wasn’t just about me missing free thows toward the end. We’ve got to do a better job defending.
“That’s fine. That’s fine. People going to say what they’re going to say. But at the end of the day, the reason we lost is not my free throws. That didn’t lose us the game. Our defense was not there in the fourth quarter.” […]
“Why should he take me out?” Howard asked, indignantly. “Like I said, the more I continue to practice, my free throws are going to fall. But there’s other things you can do on the court to help your team. It’s not just about the free throws.”
At the end of the day, it was the poor defense and free throw shooting that caused the Lakers to lose the game. This team is too talented and too tall in the frontcourt to experience defensive lapses like they did last night. At this point of the season, the team is not getting better and they are surely disappointing fans everywhere.
The Lakers came into the season with high hopes and many expected multiple championships, but at this point the Lakers are playing like a lottery bound team.