The Los Angeles Lakers got off to a great start after the All-Star break, with a comeback win over the Houston Rockets. Unfortunately for LeBron James and the Lakers, that positive outcome was undone with back-to-back losses to teams under the .500 mark.
The most recent came on Monday night to the Memphis Grizzlies, a 110-105 defeat that dropped their record to 29-31 and into a tie with the Minnesota Timberwolves for 10th place in the Western Conference standings.
With their playoff chances continuing to fade, frustrations are sure to mount, but James wants his team do the opposite. Following the loss, James stressed that the team, starting with himself, must stay positive if they intend to get over this hump and make a playoff push, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“Just stay positive, and that starts with me. Just have to stay positive and keep knocking on the door. I feel like if we play like we did tonight, we’ve got to continue with that consistent effort, it will get us over the hump as we make this push.”
Despite another disappointing loss, both James and head coach Luke Walton spoke about effort not being the issue, at least when it came to falling short against the Grizzlies. There are undoubtedly some positives to take away from the game, such as the Lakers’ 25 assists, and knocking down 15-of-20 from the free throw line.
Though, turnovers continue to be a problem for the Lakers as they coughed it up 17 times, once again doing damage to their own cause. But as James noted, if they can continue to play with this level of effort, there should be more positive outcomes than negative.
Nonetheless, everything with the Lakers starts with James and if he shows frustration and starts to sulk, it will bleed down to the rest of the team. James understands that he must set the tone for his team and nothing will get done without him leading the way.
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