For a team as young as the Los Angeles Lakers, growing pains are to be expected. Since being blown out by the L.A. Clippers on opening night, the Lakers have largely been competitive in each of their games.
But at times that’s entailed clawing back from a large deficit, even against teams many would conclude are inferior to the Lakers. The Clippers do not fit that description on the surface, but they were without Patrick Beverley, Danilo Gallinari and Milos Teodosic.
Blake Griffin was then removed late in the fourth quarter with an apparent knee injury. Yet, the Lakers failed to get the requisite stops on defense. The loss dropped them to 8-12 on the season, and are a mere 5-5 against teams under .500.
“Absolutely,” answered Luke Walton when asked if he was concerned by the Lakers’ tendency to play down to the level of their competition.
“But we have all sorts of concerns. I think as a coach all you do is concern yourself. I’m sure Steve Kerr has got concerns up in Golden State as a coach. You’re always looking for things you can improve on.
“I agree we’ve kind of been playing to the level of the record of the team we’re playing, which is not OK when you are where we’re at in this whole process. That’s just another thing for us to address and work on.”
If the Lakers had trouble in being motivated by their opponent, the upcoming stretch in their schedule should remedy the issue. They match up with the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night, and have games against the Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers on the horizon.
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