Even though head coach Frank Vogel emphasized growth recently, there was not much positive to take away from the Los Angeles Lakers’ dispiriting loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.
The Lakers lost to the Trail Blazers, 105-90, but the final score was not indicative of how poorly Los Angeles looked as they were thoroughly beaten down through the first three quarters. Portland raced out to a large 22-point lead after the first quarter and led wire to wire as Los Angeles simply lacked any sort of energy or cohesion out on the floor.
The effort level for the Lakers was equally disappointing given that they failed to make any meaningful runs throughout the night except in the fourth when the game was well out of hand. Dwight Howard was not pleased with how he and the rest of the team performed and said they needed to start taking things more seriously.
“When we’re on the court, we just got to play harder. Every possession has to matter. We just got to play harder, that’s it.”
So far, L.A. has experienced some seriously concerning losses, the ones that give fans and media pause when talks of contenders come up. Howard admitted they are not playing the way they need to right now.
“If we’re gonna win, we have to stay humble. We’re not the championship team we want to be right now, so in order to get there, we have to stay humble. It’s not a knock on who we are as players. It’s just as a team, if you want to win at any level, you got to stay humble.”
It is a blunt and honest statement from Howard, who was one of the few bright spots for the Lakers. But he is absolutely correct in saying that the roster can not be taken seriously as a championship squad. Regardless though, he wants them to control what they can control and that’s their effort level on the flor.
“Every night, our effort has to be there. Like I said, it just has to matter. Every possession, every minute that we have on the floor has to matter,” Howard said.
“It’s just all effort, effort is the key. That’s the key right there, effort, you got to play with effort. No matter what we do, we got to play with effort.”
While it is true the Lakers have had to face plenty of adversity this early on in the season, the fact of the matter is they are not playing well and need to make some changes either on the floor on mentality in order to get back on track.
Unfortunately, things do not get any easier for the Purple and Gold as they come back home to face off against a young Charlotte Hornets team on Monday that seems to be on the come up.
Howard says Lakers can not make excuses for injuries
Even though the Lakers have been dealing with injuries to several key players, they should still have enough talent to win games they should win and Howard is not giving them a free pass anymore.
“No excuses. We can’t make excuses. Effort. Energy and effort and humility. Things happen, we can’t make no excuses. That’s not Laker basketball. No excuses.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!