The Los Angeles Lakers have now lost eight straight games and things just don’t seem to be getting better down the stretch of this season as many would have hoped. In many cases the Lakers are blown out quickly, but in games the Lakers have a chance to win at the end, the team fails to make the necessary plays down the stretch.
Throughout the course of the season the Lakers simply haven’t dealt with adversity well. When things start getting away from them, the players tend to get away from the good things that they have done in the past.
According to Mark Medina of the LA Daily News, Luke Walton believes this is due to the team losing trust in each other during tough times:
“Trust is a big part of it,” Walton said. “It’s important to continue to trust each other on both ends of the floor when things get tough. It’s natural to try to get it back yourself, whether you come down and shoot a 3-point shot right away or try to stop somebody by yourself without keeping in mind the team concept.”
This is pretty normal for young teams as many of the Laker players have never been in these types of situations at this level before. Walton believes the best way for the Lakers to overcome it is to keep working together in the gym:
“You can speed it up by getting in the gym and working more,” Walton said. “It’s easier to trust and rely on each other when you’re in the gym putting in those extra hours with each other and you see your teammates doing it.”
Walton has constantly praised his young players for their work ethic throughout this season. He has singled out Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell, and Julius Randle at different points this year for the work they’ve put in.
If the Lakers plan on getting out of the Western Conference cellar, that work will have to continue as they are far away from contention. At some point they will need to take that next step in their development, but it is anyone’s guess as to when that step will be taken.