It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers are not where they would like to be a quarter of the way through the 2021-22 season. While nearly everyone on the team — especially LeBron James — stressed that it would take time for L.A. to reach their full potential, things have looked much worse than expected.
The Lakers are 10-11 with two losses to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and other losses against the Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves. After all of those disappointing results, the Lakers are about to enter a more difficult stretch of schedule, leading to greater concerns about their ability to win games.
When asked if James was finding it more difficult to win games this year than in past years, he responded with an emphatic no.
“No. I’ve never been in a situation throughout my career where I’ve always felt that games are more difficult to win than others,” James said. “It is hard to win a professional ballgame, and that’s the same for a football player, a baseball player, hockey player, soccer player.
“Professional sports are always difficult to win, no matter the outcome or the score, no matter how it may look from the outside looking in. It’s just difficult to win because we’re all pros. No matter who you’re going against, we’re all pros for a reason and it’s always challenging, especially when you know you’re gonna get everybody’s best shot every night.”
One thing that has been clear from watching the Lakers this season is that they haven’t responded well to teams not being afraid of them. Regardless of the quality of the opponent, teams are going and giving the Lakers everything they can handle, and it has led to sloppy and lackadaisical play.
If L.A. wants to get out of the 10-11 mess they’ve put themselves in, it has to start with a renewed outlook on their expectations. So far, they’ve been playing like a team that has already clinched a playoff spot, when in reality they’re closer to being out of the play-in than they are to home-court advantage.
James recognized that it’s tough to win in the NBA, and that is absolutely true. But the Lakers have the tools to make things a little easier on themselves.
Davis believes Lakers can turn things around quickly
While he may have been exaggerating for effect, Anthony Davis appeared confident that the Lakers could rattle off 10 or more wins in a row to turn their season around. “Ten or 11,” David said. “We can go on a 10-game winning streak, 12-game winning streak and everything would be different. 10-game winning streak and we’re 20-11 and that will shut everybody up.
“But it’s on us, we’re gonna have to do it and it’s not gonna be easy. We knew coming into the season that nobody was gonna give us nothing, nobody is gonna feel sorry for us, nobody is gonna feel bad for us. We got to go out and take it, and that’s the fun in it. You know it makes it all worth it in the end when you got to grind for it and work for it like we have to. That trophy at the end of the year is gonna feel a lot better.”
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