The Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to the Houston Rockets was an extremely disappointing one, especially at this stage of the season. Austin Reaves led the way with 24 points and seven assists off the bench, but the Lakers fell behind by double-digits early and were never able to recover.
The Lakers were without Anthony Davis who has not been cleared to play back-to-backs, and of course LeBron James who remains out with that foot injury. Additionally, the team was on the second night of a back-to-back, but with the Lakers fighting to make the playoffs Reaves believes there is simply no room for excuses.
After the game, Reaves simply said that a back-to-back is no excuse and that the team’s current spot in the standings should be more than enough to motivate them, via Spectrum SportsNet:
It’s a back-to-back, there’s no excuse, everybody has those in the league so you got to find something to energize you. It’s hard sometimes but at the end of the day, with where we’re at in the standings and what we’re trying to do that should be enough itself. So we as players gotta do better just trying to figure out something for the group to get going. Slow start, a lot of mistakes, a lot of missed advantages on our defensive end. But same time they’re tryna do stuff and we’re human and we just gotta fix it.
The Rockets came into the game with the worst record in the NBA but had defeated the Boston Celtics in their prior game. Reaves did give the Lakers credit for fighting back after the slow start, but made note that this Rockets team is very talented:
I thought we did good scrapping our way back even though we were not playing good. You shoot 37% from the field, 25% from 3 you’re most times not gonna win that game. They’re a very talented young ballclub that’s been together for I think two years now, a lot of em have, and they’re gelling well and you can tell they that enjoy playing with each other. Like I said they’re super talented so for them to go on a 9-0 run is kinda easy for them sometimes. That’s part of the game and obviously we don’t want that. We coulda did things differently to make it harder for them but everybody’s a pro.
The Lakers are not in the position to take any team lightly and there is so much talent spread throughout the NBA that even those teams without the best record have players who are more than capable of filling it up. No matter the situation, the Lakers have to find a way to come out motivated and pick up these wins as every game is of the utmost importance.
Lakers’ Anthony Davis advised against playing back-to-backs; overall minutes not a concern
Coming out of the All-Star break, head coach Darvin Ham said that no players would be missing games unless they were actually injured. This made it questionable when Davis sat out the second night of a back-to-back but as it turns out, it is still injury related.
Davis has been advised against playing back-to-backs even though he is playing pain-free right now while his overall minutes are not a concern.
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