What has already been an extremely disappointing season for the Los Angeles Lakers is now on the brink of spiraling completely out of control. Despite LeBron James continuing to turn back the clock with his performances, the Lakers have lost three straight games since the All-Star break and now even making the Play-In Tournament doesn’t seem to be a guarantee for the team.
The Lakers have already fallen well short of expectations, but missing the playoffs completely would go well beyond anyone’s worst-case scenarios. But even with the losses piling up for the Lakers, James refuses to give up his belief in himself and the team as a whole.
“Because we still have games to play,” James said following the Lakers’ five-point loss to the Mavericks when asked why he remains confident.
“Until you stomp me out, cut my head off and bury me 12-feet under, I got a chance. So that’s my confidence. Obviously at the end of the day, we got to come in and win ballgames and play better, but as long as we have more games to play, we still have a chance, so that’s my confidence. I hate losing, I feel like poop right now, but tomorrow is a new day and I’m gonna be prepared and ready for the Clippers on Thursday. That’s my mindset, that’s just who I am.”
James having that confidence in himself and the Lakers is expected considering what he has accomplished throughout his career, but there has been very little to suggest this Lakers team is capable of turning things around. The team has good stretches in most games, but slow starts and inefficient offense down the stretch of games have doomed the Lakers all season long.
Against Dallas, the Lakers again fell behind big in the first half, but made a huge comeback and even had the lead midway through the fourth quarter thanks to some great play from LeBron, amongst others. But the Lakers were unable to make the plays in the clutch and fell short in what has been a familiar scene this season.
But if the Lakers are going to begin that turnaround, it will start with the next time the team takes the court.
“All depends on how we respond,” James said. “We had the Clipper loss then we responded the way we played against the Pelicans. This game is over and done with. We had our chances, played good basketball, defended well versus one of the best offensive teams. Especially in the last 10 to 12 games, they’ve been exceptional, but it all depends on how we respond.”
The upcoming schedule for the Lakers is difficult and LeBron will have to be at his best to get them back in the win column. Oftentimes this season, the Lakers have followed these promising performances with absolutely embarrassing ones and they will need to break that trend if James’ confidence is warranted.
James feels Mavericks loss came down to missed shots in fourth quarter
As far as what actually went wrong down the stretch in the loss to the Mavericks, James had a simple explanation.
“We missed shots. Pretty much we missed shots. [Carmelo Anthony] had a wide-open three from the right-wing. Malik [Monk] had two missed layups. I had a rough step back, missed jumper from the right-wing, right elbow where I had just made one before. We literally missed shots. You can execute, you can run the best play of all time but you still have to make the ball; the ball has to go in. We didn’t make enough shots.”
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!