Lonnie Walker IV Says There Was Optimism In Lakers Locker Room Following Loss To Clippers
Lonnie Walker IV, Reggie Jackson, Lakers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers struggled on both ends of the court in their opening night loss to the Golden State Warriors, but they looked much better on one side of the floor in their second game. Against the Clippers, the Lakers were very solid on defense and even got 26 points from Lonnie Walker IV although their outside shooting ultimately cost them.

The Lakers held the Clippers to just 103 points and had great energy all night long but shot just 20 percent from 3-point range. That was the difference on this night despite a solid outing from Walker, who led the Lakers with his 26-point performance. But despite a second straight loss to start the season, Walker says there was optimism in the Lakers’ locker room.

“We’re right there,” Walker said following the Lakers’ six-point loss. “I think even though we lost today, there was a bit of optimism in the locker room. We’ve only been playing together for a few weeks and our last two teams that we played against have been playing together for the last 4-5 years. So that speaks a lot of volume to how we’ve been playing. We just got to continue to stack the days and trust in the system, trust in our teammates and play the way we play.”

The Lakers’ shooting struggles were not due to the quality of shots for the most part. Darvin Ham’s offensive system created the open shots any team would want, but they failed to knock them down. This is likely why Walker believes the Lakers must continue to take the shots they are getting.

“Keep shooting,” Walker said when asked what the message was following another awful shooting night. “We’re still finding a rhythm with each other. We had great looks, great shots, we just need to keep shooting and shoot with confidence.”

Through two games, the Lakers are shooting an abysmal 22.4 percent from 3-point range, a mark that can’t possibly sustain throughout the rest of the season. Even a rise to league average would change things immensely on offense for this team.

Walker continuing to have outings like this would also help the Lakers’ offense, but the fourth-year guard insists that isn’t his job on this team.

“Just be aggressive on both ends of the floor,” Walkers added. “I’m not here to score the most points. I’m just here to bring energy, be a defender and be more of an athletic guard just trying to get downhill and help my teammates. Get AD some easy buckets, just playing the right way and playing hard.”

Ham encouraged by Lakers’ effort on defense despite poor shooting

For a franchise like the Lakers, moral victories are things that don’t really exist as championships are the expectation. But despite that, Ham was extremely proud of his team for their performance against the Clippers.

“I’m super duper proud of our guys, they competed,” Ham said. “I think we’ve seen improvement from Game One to Game Two, especially on the defensive end. I mean, that’s a monstrous ballclub in that locker room, and people are raving about them, and they come highly touted for reason. And the way we stepped up and scrapped, even when we did get down and be able to get back in the game, make it a game.

“That’s the definition of identity building, like, establishing what our culture and our environment is going to be like. So I’m definitely disappointed in the loss probably could have done things a little bit better. But again, we’re trending in the right direction.”

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