Heading into the season, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton and the front office stressed the importance of growth and remaining patient with the young roster core. But tough losses to playoff-caliber teams prompted Walton to adjust the barometer ever so slightly.
He’d spent the first few weeks of the season explaining he wasn’t overly consumed with wins and losses, so long as his team played the right way. However, the Lakers proving they can compete on any given night led Walton to proclaiming an expectation was set to win those games with some regularity.
That’s yet to manifest itself, particularly of late, as the Lakers are on a season-worst seven-game losing streak and have dropped 10 of their past 11 contests.
Mired in the skid, Walton stressed the importance of accountability as reason the team will manage to get back on track and not continue in a downward spiral, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“We continue to hold guys accountable for the way that we play, for the way that is acceptable for us to play. We trust that our players are made up of the character that they’re going to keep working extremely hard, because they don’t like losing and they want to get better. As long as we do that, we’ll be just fine at the end of it all.”
Since Dec. 12, the Lakers have played at least every other day and twice faced back-to-backs. Such was the case on New Year’s Day, with L.A. less than 24 hours removed from a double-overtime loss to the Houston Rockets.
The difficult stretch of playing every other day doesn’t conclude until Jan. 23. Although there are three more weeks remaining in a daunting stretch, the Lakers may soon receive reinforcements in Lonzo Ball and Brook Lopez.
L.A. might also benefit in the near future, as Wednesday marks the start of a season-long five-game homestand.
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