After the Los Angeles Lakers inexplicably lost to the New Orleans Pelicans in a game Anthony Davis rested, LeBron James questioned whether his teammates had an understanding of the sense of urgency that was needed.
Each defeat continues to put the Lakers in a deeper hole when it comes to making the playoffs. James not only has an eight-year NBA Finals streak that’s in jeopardy, but he also hasn’t missed the playoffs since his second season.
While Lakers head coach Luke Walton acknowledged some of his young players are learning on the fly, he expressed confidence the team would play with the necessary intensity. Their focus and effort was improved from the weekend, but it didn’t translate to a win.
Walton nevertheless was generally satisfied with his team’s effort, noting the Lakers simply failed to convert on offense down the stretch, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“Tough loss. I was very pleased with the effort, the togetherness of our group. I thought we got back to what we were doing earlier in the season. Unfortunately, we didn’t make enough plays when we needed to. We started getting the stops we needed, we were covering for each other, doing all those type of things. Then offensively, we weren’t coming down and making the plays we had to to win on the road. Tough loss, but I am pleased with the togetherness of the group tonight.”
Walton’s message rung similar to remarks made during various stretches this season, and while there may be truth to it, the Lakers aren’t in any position to settle for good effort in a loss. They enter Tuesday three games back of eighth place with only 22 games remaining.
If there is some sort of silver lining, it’s in the Lakers’ difficult schedule that lies ahead. Although it seems counterintuitive, the team has made a habit of playing to the level of their competition.
Reminder: Vivid Seats is the Official Ticket Reseller of LakersNation.com. New Customers use “LAKERSNATION” (all CAPS) in the Vivid Seats App on your phone and get 10% off any Lakers home game ticket order for the remainder of the season.