The Los Angeles Lakers lost another close game on Monday night, this time to the Minnesota Timberwolves, to drop their record to a disappointing 2-5. Even though all five losses were by single digits to playoff teams, some are already beginning to question if head coach Luke Walton’s team is in trouble.
Before the season, LeBron James spoke about the need to have patience with this young Lakers team, and it already sounds as if some of that patience is beginning to run thin. Walton certainly agrees with that sentiment not just for LeBron, but for the team as a whole.
After the game, Walton admitted that there is definitely frustration within the locker room following the Lakers’ fifth loss of year, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:
“There’s obviously frustration that comes with it,” Walton said after his team failed to protect a fourth-quarter lead and dropped to 2-5 on the season. “I don’t know what the level [of frustration] is, but it’s going to be a tough flight home.”
This frustration doesn’t mean Walton is losing hope however. Walton stressed to his team that no one will feel sorry for them, and that they will begin to win some of these close games:
“But like I told our guys, nobody feels sorry for us. It’s up to us to figure it out and start winning some of these close games. And we will. I can promise you that. We will start to win some of these. But right now we’re taking a couple lumps in the meantime.”
The good news for the Lakers is that they have been in every game this season, despite the poor record. Fixing a couple of issues, such as fouling, defensive rebounding, and turnovers, will go a long way towards turning things around.
Obviously this team has the talent to hang with the NBA’s top teams, now it’s simply about getting over that hump and turning these close losses to wins. Luke Walton will do everything in his power to help his team make that leap sooner rather than later.