The Los Angeles Lakers may have won five out of their last six games, but it came on a Tyson Chandler game-winning block against the third-worst team in the NBA.
While the Lakers were playing the Atlanta Hawks on the second night of a back-to-back situation, it does not excuse the team’s 23 turnovers. As the Lakers showed better effort in the second half, they could not close out the game, which has been a problematic theme to begin the 2018-19 NBA season.
With the Lakers still learning how to play together, head coach Luke Walton will take the win and believes this is part of the process. “It was not a pretty win for us but a win is a win,” Walton said.
“We will take it and learn from it. Give Atlanta credit, they’re a scrappy team. I thought defensively we played a pretty good game as far as what we’ve been doing and focusing on until the end. They got loose on us at the end. Overall, I’m pleased with our defense.
“Offensively, I think we took a little bit of a step back tonight but like I said, it’s kind of the way it works. You move forward, move forward, step back, move forward. I’m glad we were able to get a win.”
While the Lakers could not sustain their effort, Walton liked how LeBron James and the young core came out to begin the third quarter. “I was really pleased with the way we came out in that third quarter,” Walton said.
“I thought we showed progress of a team that knows it’s time to take care of business at home. I thought we did that with the third quarter. Unfortunately, we didn’t carry that mindset over to the fourth.”
As James has been in every situation possible at this stage of his career, it is important for the young core to experience this type of pressure to win. While the goal is to always move forward, there will be times where the Lakers take steps backwards as Walton stated.
Fortunately for Walton and the Lakers, they usually respond well the following game.