Similar to last year, the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2021-22 has been plagued by injuries early with a number of key players including LeBron James already missing time.
The results have not been pretty, with the Lakers currently sitting at 7-6 after losing to a number of inferior opponents. The latest loss was perhaps the worst of them all as they took a five-point lead into the halftime locker room against the Minnesota Timberwolves and then found themselves trailing by more than 30 by the end of the third quarter.
Anthony Davis did not hold back in his criticism of himself and his teammates after the game, putting the loss on their lack of effort and energy.
Still though, Davis remains confident that the Lakers can be a great team once they get healthy, even if he is impatient about it right now as the losses pile up.
“You think about that big picture, we’re missing one of our star guys, we’re missing [Kendrick Nunn] and [Talen Horton-Tucker], two scorers, Austin had been playing well for us and he’s out for a couple weeks, one of our best three-and-D guys, [Trevor Ariza], so we’re missing guys. That’s where you think about big picture, long-term what we can be,” Davis said.
“But now, in the moment it’s frustrating because of how we’re losing games in the way we’re losing games. So our focus now is frustration, especially losses like this because we know that we’re a good team. You think about that long-term and that big-picture goal, but we want to win now. And it just sucks because we don’t know our full team, our full capabilities of what guys can bring to the team. But when we get everybody back, we know we’ll be a great team. But we still got to do what we do no matter who’s on the floor, we still got to follow our principles on both ends of the floor and we lacked that tonight.”
The Lakers have made it clear all season that injuries are not an excuse for poor play. The loss of James and other key players cannot be overstated though, so hopefully they can get healthy soon so the Lakers can get a look at what they actually have on their roster.
Davis doesn’t believe Lakers are championship team right now
While Davis maintains that the Lakers can get there at some point, he admitted that they’re not currently playing like a championship team.
“We only see Sunday. We got to decide who we want to be. A championship team? That’s not us right now. We’re not winning a championship the way we’re playing. We got to be better,” Davis said. “We got to care more for our wins at home and our wins in general. That was embarrassing.
“To be up five at half. This team shoots a lot of threes. They have guys that can score the basketball. There was no effort in the third quarter. I don’t want to say the first half. The first half we looked really good. We had some mistakes, but our effort was there, our energy. In the third quarter, that wasn’t there for us.”
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