LeBron James Believes Injuries Have Contributed To Lakers’ Late-Game Struggles
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Despite being so shorthanded, the Los Angeles Lakers have been able to remain competitive against playoff teams. However, competitiveness hasn’t always translated into wins as evidenced by their double-overtime loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

The Lakers managed to climb out of a 19-point hole in the first half to take a lead late against the Mavericks. However, a combination of poor officiating and poor tactical deployment was Los Angeles’ downfall. For example, Darvin Ham admitted he should’ve blitzed Luka Doncic at the end of regulation in order to prevent his game-tying 3-pointer that sent the game into its first overtime period.

LeBron James had a rough game down the stretch, though he is not the only thing to blame for such a brutal defeat. The late-game execution down the stretch has plagued the Lakers all season, though James also pointed out the lack of lineup consistency as one of the team’s problems.

“One consistent thing that we have is a billion different lineups. That’s the most consistent,” James said.

“It’s not about trust because we have trust with whoever’s on the floor but at the end of the day, teams have closing lineups. We got so many guys in and out of the lineup. There’s a lot of guys it’s banged up. So it’s almost like who’s in a good rhythm that night is going to be probably on the floor along with myself and Russ.”

Los Angeles has utilized 23 different starting lineups this season, the most in the NBA. James lamented the fact that he and the rest of the roster haven’t had the best injury luck.

“I think ever since we made a trade for AD to bring him here, our whole thing was about health. It’s not changed. When you guys asked us before the season started, Do we think Russ can work? How can we know that we’ve not been on before together that you guys that we’ve done before 21 games last year? You know, so we haven’t had the best luck of health. Especially this year now again, so I can’t tell you what I want out of this ball club until … We got AR out, AD is out. Pat was out tonight. Lonnie [Walker IV] has been out. You know, we got four of our big-time rotation guys … Can’t tell you that.”

Injuries have been the bane of the Purple and Gold’s existence the past few seasons and this year is no different. However, no one is going to cut the Lakers slack, so it’s up to James and his teammates to play through the adverse circumstances and get back on track.

Darvin Ham says it would be ‘irresponsible’ to not work out free agents

With players missing, Los Angeles reportedly has workouts set up with free agents. Although Ham couldn’t exactly confirm the workouts, he did say that it would be irresponsible for the team not to do their due diligence and find help where they can.

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