The Los Angeles Lakers suffered arguably their worst loss of the season Wednesday night when they fell 127-105 to the Orlando Magic, who still currently own the worst record in the NBA.
The Magic are the just outside the bottom-10 in the league in offensive efficiency, but anyone watching them light up the Lakers wouldn’t know it after witnessing Orlando score 127 points on 54.3 percent shooting while somehow making a higher percentage of their threes (56.3 percent).
Those stats (combined with the Lakers countering with just 47 percent shooting from the field and 20 percent from three) look bad, but Kyle Kuzma summed things even more bleakly on Spectrum SportsNet when explaining how the team could get over a loss like the one against Orlando:
“Kind of just not look at it. Lose by 30 to a team that has a worse record than you. It’s kind of depleting. But, credit to them. They beat us.”
Kuzma’s fellow forward Julius Randle took an even stronger stance:
“It’s just garbage. Our effort and focus wasn’t there. That’s it.”
The Lakers have fallen to the league’s 14th-best defensive rating (giving up 105.3 points per 100 possessions).
They were even worse than that against Orlando, allowing an offensive rating of 125.2 that would blow the league-best Golden State Warriors out of the water by more than 10 points per 100 possessions if prorated over an entire season.
The Magic obviously aren’t capable of that on a normal night, and while some of their shooting success can just be chalked up to hot hands and randomness, they were also on the second night of a back-to-back in which they gave up a 60-point triple-double to James Harden while the Lakers had the night off.
There was little excuse for the Lakers to look as listless as they did while defending the 3-point line and the rim, even with the context of the team missing one of their best players in Lonzo Ball.
After two losses in a row in which the Lakers looked as disengaged as they have, it’s probably fair to wonder if trade rumors are finally getting to the team with only a week to go until the deadline. Based on Randle and Kuzma’s comments combined with Brook Lopez looking despondent on the bench towards the end of the game, this team clearly is feeling down right now.
Whether the Lakers can get back up before the trade deadline or at all during the remainder of the season is potentially the biggest question the team has left to answer until the summer.
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