Lakers News: Rui Hachimura Explains What Went Wrong After Great Start Against Kings
Rui Hachimura, Lakers, Kings
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Rui Hachimura has struggled to find a consistent role in his first full season with the Los Angeles Lakers as he came off the bench to begin the year with occasional due to injuries. But, now as head coach Darvin Ham solidified Hachimura as a starter, he has put together some great offensive performances for L.A. as of late.

Another performance arose on Wednesday, which was a must-win game against the Sacramento Kings as the Lakers are battling for seeding. The 26-year-old came out engaged on the offensive end, making his jumpers, attacking the paint and even getting in the passing lanes early in the first quarter.

Despite Hachimura scoring 29 points on 13-for-17 shooting and the Lakers having an early 19-point lead in the first, the Kings flipped the script in the second quarter and never looked back. Hachimura described where he saw the game flip, which was the second frame when De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk caught fire.

“I was talking at halftime, I said we had the greatest start the whole season,” Hachimura said. “It was a great start, and we were locked in defensively, and we’re sharing the ball on the offensive side, and we’re moving. Just all of a sudden, I think in the second quarter, they came back. Malik [Monk] and [De’Aaron] Fox got in a rhythm and we couldn’t figure it out the whole game. We tried to come back in the third quarter and in a little bit of the fourth, but it was kind of too late. They were already in a rhythm, and when both of them are in the rhythm, it’s hard to play defense because we can’t really double and all that. So yeah, just did the second quarter was the game.”

This could very well be a game that discourages the team moving forward, but Hachimura remains confident in the Lakers making a run, however, he stresses that they have no time to waste.

“We’re pretty confident, he said. “We just got to lock in. We don’t have time to relax, like, just today’s game, we were up by 20 or something in the first quarter, and all of a sudden, we kind of relaxed, and literally, they were up by 20. We can’t relax at any time. I think it was a good start. We usually struggle with starting the game and the beginning of the game.

“But today was a good example, we have to play like that throughout the whole game. And we can do it; we just got to lock in as a team, first unit, second unit, whatever, whoever gets in the game, comes out. We all got to lock in.”

While the former Gonzaga Bulldog expresses optimism on a night filled with negativity, he admittedly shared frustration as this was a missed opportunity for L.A. due to the playoff implications against the Kings.

“Yeah, for sure,” Hachimura said. “We talked about it before the game. We saw the rankings and we talked about other teams and said, ‘This is gonna be a big game, you know?’ And, like we say, that was a big game and I think we have one more against them next week. But yeah, this was this was a big one; we got a good stretch in the first quarter and we kind of gave it to them. So next game we have to get it, for sure.”

It is certainly not a fun situation to be in for the Lakers to blow a 19-point lead in less than a quarter, but there is still a little bit of time remaining to turn this thing around; not a whole lot, but enough to stack wins. Hachimura remains confident heading down this final stretch, but Wednesday increased the likelihood of L.A. being in the Play-In Tournament once again.

Rui Hachimura: Lakers need to ‘help each other’ on defensive glass

Another issue that has reared its ugly head for the Lakers is rebounding, as the purple and gold have struggled to control the glass for the past few games. Hachimura said that the team needs to ‘help each other’ on the defensive glass as Anthony Davis is usually left alone to battle for boards.

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Lakers Legend Magic Johnson Names His Mount Rushmore Of NBA Coaches

Magic Johnson is without a doubt one of the greatest players in NBA history…

Lakers Injury Update: Brandon Ingram ‘Confident’ He Can Return Against Thunder, Lonzo Ball Unlikely To Suit Up

Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram and point guard Lonzo Ball were sorely missed in the team’s blowout…

Why D’Antoni’s Offensive System Is Exacerbating The Lakers Defense

The Los Angeles Lakers suffered their worst loss in franchise history Thursday…

Lakers News: Kobe Bryant Has ‘Nothing But Love And Respect’ For LeBron James

When Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring list in a Los Angeles Lakers road game against the…