The Los Angeles Lakers were a virtual no-show in their blowout loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night.
Not much was expected of the Lakers considering they were playing the best team in the league, but it was sad to see them fail to compete the whole night. After an 8-2 lead to open the game, Los Angeles folded as soon as Phoenix punched back.
LeBron James noted that the team can not expect to go down big against a team like the Suns and expect to win. “Versus the No. 1 team in the league, there’s no way you can go down 26 points at the end of the first quarter and give up 48 and expect to make a game out of it. We player pretty good ball in the second quarter, but you can’t dig a hole like that versus a team like this.”
As far as what he has seen from the roster as far as its effort levels, James offered a candid assessment.
“I think when we get down, we’ve lost so many games that we feel like we can’t get out of the hole at times. Teams go on a 12-0 run or 9-1 run, tonight we were up 8-2 and then they went on a quick run after that, I don’t even know the run it was, but they just started blitzing us after that and we just, as a collective unit, we haven’t been in the foxhole enough to be able to say ‘OK, we can get out of this.’ It’s something that’s hurt us all throughout the season.”
Anthony Davis is a huge reason why L.A. is losing, but James acknowledged it will take more than just his co-star to fix things.
“It puts a band-aid on some things but we just haven’t had enough chemistry, enough time with our group to be able to know exactly who we are and what we could become, haven’t had enough minutes on the floor.
“We literally just played a team that has probably had the most consistent starting lineup over the last two or three years. Obviously [Chris Paul] has been out, but they can bring in Cameron Payne and the thing keeps flowing, so it’s challenging for us but AD definitely helps. But it’s not the answer to all the questions.”
Waning efforts levels have been a constant problem for the Lakers all season, and it is hard to see that changing as things currently stand. Without much room for error, James and the roster need to find ways to stay engaged or they could end up on vacation much sooner.
James says it’s difficult evaluate lineups with him at center
In order to alleviate the spacing issues, James has started games at center. While it has helped in certain areas, James thinks it is hard to call it their best lineup option.
“Obviously it’s hard to say, we’ve only had 13 games with me starting at center and we’re 7-6. It’s a small dosage obviously, but we’ve had so many different lineup changes this year and try to figure out which ones works the best. That’s probably been the only one that’s been above .500 so we’ve tried to stick with it to have some consistency with some lineups and like you said, tonight was not a winning ingredient for it but we’ve had some very good moments with me starting at center.
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