The Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night saw many issues that have plagued the team throughout the season. Most notably was the Lakers’ prolonged scoring droughts which have been a problem that has doomed them all year long.
After getting off to a hot start, the Lakers went ice cold at different points throughout the second and third quarters, giving them a major deficit they were unable to come back from in the fourth. Some would point towards perhaps a lack of offensive structure, but center Andre Drummond had a different viewpoint.
“Make shots,” Drummond said when asked what the Lakers could have done to end their drought against the Wizards. “The shots were there. We took the shots we normally take. They just didn’t go in. That’s all it really was. We had a lot of open shots that we normally make that just weren’t falling for us.”
The Lakers shot just 43.8% from the field on the night and 29.4% from 3-point range. Drummond isn’t wrong, however, in that the team had a lot of open looks that just didn’t fall.
This is especially the case inside as the Lakers were outscored by eight points in the paint against Washington. The Lakers are in the top-10 in field goal percentage and points in the paint but in the bottom-third of the league in 3-point percentage. On this night neither could get going consistently.
Further making things difficult was the Lakers’ defense not locking in. Drummond gave credit to the Wizards while acknowledging that the Lakers failed to do their job on that end of the floor as well.
“We just allowed them to get into a rhythm, that’s all it was,” Drummond added. “They’ve been playing well. Won their last eight out of nine, so they had a really good rhythm going. We didn’t do a good job of turning the water off.”
The defensive side of the ball is where the Lakers have made their identity over the last couple of seasons. Even when their offense has struggled their defense has never wavered and has kept them in many games this year.
The Lakers have the pieces to dominate on both sides of the floor, but it has yet to come together especially with all of the injuries. Last season, the Lakers’ turned it on from deep and it made all of the difference and there is no reason they can’t create those same looks again. They will simply have to knock them down.
Drummond not worried about Lakers’ lack of cohesion
With many new players in the rotation, the Lakers are still getting used to each other. LeBron James still hasn’t returned to the lineup and with time ticking down until the playoffs, things will need to come together in short order.
But Drummond remains confident in the Purple and Gold and believes the team will be fine once they’re able to get more time on the court together. “Just playing together more. I think that’s really what it’s going to come down to,” the Lakers center said.
“There’s not that much practice time left in the year, so our practice time is the games. We just have to find ways to continue to get better. We’ve shown glimpses of how good we can be. A little inconsistent right now, but we’ll find it. I’m not worried about that whatsoever. It’s just going to take a little bit of time and we’ll be fine.”
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