As the Los Angeles Lakers have continued to struggle, a common theme for Luke Walton’s team has been having one terrible quarter in seemingly every game.
Earlier this season it was the third quarter that gave the Lakers problems every night, but recently it has been the second quarter that the Lakers have struggled in. On Thursday night the Wizards outscored them by 12 and that was followed up on Friday night when the Celtics outscored them by 13 in the second frame.
Afterwards, Walton spoke about the Lakers getting selfish during that frame and needing to figure out a way to put a full 48 minutes together via Joey Ramirez of Lakers.com:
“As a team, I thought we got selfish,” Walton said. “We stopped moving the ball. We stopped trusting each other. And because of it, we don’t make shots. And when we don’t make shots our defense gets lazy. … We gotta get better at putting whole games together.”
This has been an issue all season for the Lakers as they play team’s pretty evenly for most of the game, but one bad quarter puts them in a hole too big to climb out of. Sometimes it’s the starters struggling, other games it’s the bench who lacks some energy, but every night the Lakers seem to hit a wall where things just go bad.
As Walton and others have pointed out, the Lakers still tend to become selfish when things start going wrong, with each player trying to make things up individually, rather than as a team. The fact that the Lakers’ defense falls off when their offense struggles is also a concern as it teams always want their defense to be the focus and emphasis that controls everything. The Lakers are backwards in that regard.
At some point Walton has to believe that his young team will eventually figure this out and turn things around. If not, the Lakers will continue to have these same types of showings.