The Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the surprise stories of the NBA season so far as they have gotten off to a better than expected start. Unfortunately the team has struggled recently for a number of reasons.
The Lakers have faced one of the toughest schedules in NBA so far and are just coming off a four-game in five nights road trip. Additionally the team has been ravaged by injuries as D’Angelo Russell, Nick Young, Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr., and now Jose Calderon have all missed time.
As the Lakers finally return home, guard Jordan Clarkson admitted that some fatigue has set in on this team according to Mark Medina of the OC Register:
“It’s been tough, but that’s what we’re here for,” Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson said. “We have to come out and perform every night. But fatigue definitely set in with the guys we have out right now.”
Head coach Luke Walton also spoke on the difficulties the Lakers are going through while reflecting on his own career:
“You can always get your body to turn on as a player as the game goes. But to win in this league, you have to be locked in and focused,” Walton said before reflecting on his 11-year NBA career. “When the schedule gets grueling, for me the biggest challenge was having that same type of mindset night in and night out.”
The Lakers aren’t making excuses for their less than stellar play recently, but rather pointing out the obvious. They have had more road games than home games so far and have faced off against some of the league’s top teams including the Warriors, Rockets, Thunder, Raptors, and Bulls.
The injuries have also forced Walton to shorten his rotation which means more minutes for players on a team where no one averages more than 30 minutes per night.
The team still has plenty of time to get healthy and turn things around, but it doesn’t get much easier as after having three of their next four games at home, the Lakers take off for a seven game road trip.