After an inspiring win over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night, many hoped that the Los Angeles Lakers would build on that performance Sunday against the Dallas Mavericks. The return of power forward Larry Nance Jr. would seemingly only further motivate the team as Nance has missed nearly a month due to a bone bruise in his knee.
Of course, the exact opposite happened as the Lakers suffered their worst loss in franchise history, falling to the Mavericks by 49 points, 122-73.
After the game, things weren’t great in the Lakers locker room and Nance even suggested that the Lakers possibly became complacent after their win on Friday via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Larry: “It’s almost as if we got complacent w/ 1 win. Seems silly to say that but w/ the way we came out, we just weren’t ready." (on SPSN)
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) January 22, 2017
The notion of a Lakers team that sits at 16-32 becoming complacent is a disturbing one. The team is 6-22 since their 10-10 start and while injuries and an extremely tough schedule (Lakers have played most games overall and road games in the NBA) have something to do with that, the Lakers simply haven’t come out with the fire they showed early in the season.
Head coach Luke Walton, while disappointed with the performance, still believes in his team and doesn’t believe these performances are a part of a losing culture. Nonetheless, the inconsistency of the Lakers is something that is beginning to get worrisome and the All-Star Break can’t come soon enough for this team.
Young teams struggle with consistency, but both current and former Lakers have spoken out about the team continuing to use youth as an excuse. The loss of D’Angelo Russell certainly had an impact, but this team as a whole must figure out how to bring effort every night if they plan on turning the corner and becoming a legitimate NBA contender.