The Los Angeles Lakers lost in a terrible style to the Boston Celtics on Friday, falling 130-108 after a nightmare performance on the defensive end.
Things looked good for L.A. in the first quarter with LeBron James showing a solid form despite spending over two weeks away from the floor. Anthony Davis dominated, scoring 15 points to help the Lakers enter the second period with a 38-30 lead.
But the Celtics took over from there, outscoring the visitors 100-70 in the remaining three quarters. L.A. collapsed after halftime again with a lack of urgency gradually creeping into its game. James said that although the Lakers don’t panic just yet, they need to fix the urgency issue as soon as possible.
“No, it’s never ‘we got 65 games left.’ We damn sure need to play better, no matter who’s in the lineup,” the four-time NBA champion said.
“We have our system and we need to obviously fast track it and get better with it to where we can play, no matter who is out on the floor, we could play at a high level. So it’s never that we got 65 games and we’ll figure it out then, but there’s no level of panic.
“But there should be some sense of urgency anytime we hit the floor and I felt like we had that at moments throughout this game tonight and then at some points throughout the game we didn’t. So we got to figure how we can keep that sense of urgency for as close to 48 minutes possible compared to the other side.”
However, James pointed out the injuries did prevent the Lakers from figuring out the roster’s strengths and weaknesses sooner.
“As we continue to log more minutes, I’ll continue to see where we’re great at, where we’re not so good at, things that we can improve on,” he said.
“Like I said it was my first game in two and a half weeks I believe. It was [Talen Horton-Tucker’s] third game I believe back, maybe four, but just trying to figure out rotations and honestly, Coach trying to figure out rotations, and who to play when and how we can be our best on the floor for 48 minutes.
“So we played some good ball at times tonight, obviously the third quarter has been really bad for us this year so we’ll try to figure that out and be better on that.”
James ‘felt OK’ in return from abdominal injury
In perhaps the only positive of the Lakers’ nightmare game in Boston, James said his body reacted well to the intensity of the game. However, the 36-year-old All-Star admitted he’s yet to get his in-game rhythm back.
“I felt OK, I felt OK,” he said. “Obviously being out two and a half weeks, I just felt like a rookie again, kind of just being away from the game. But excited, physically I felt okay. Good enough to know that I could trust my body and play tonight.
“So I’m more looking forward to seeing how I feel tomorrow when I wake up. That is the telltale sign if I’m moving in the right direction with my injury.”
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