The Los Angeles Lakers have been extremely inconsistent throughout this season. In the month of January alone the Lakers followed a solid of stretch of three wins in four games with a five game losing streak. After breaking that streak on Friday, they responded by suffering the worst loss in franchise history on Sunday.
The ups and downs the Lakers have experienced are normal for a young team growing in this league, but head coach Luke Walton has noticed that the team doesn’t seem to respond to success well.
After practice on Monday, Walton noted that the Lakers tend to relax after experiencing some success via Baxter Holmes of ESPN:
Luke Walton a day after Lakers’ worst loss ever: “We have a team that when we have some success, we relax. That’s our natural state."
— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) January 23, 2017
Despite the ongoing issues, Walton still believes the Lakers have bought in and will continue moving forward with his plan according to Tania Ganguli of the LA Times:
Walton touts consistency. "I think we’ve gotten through to our team. I think they’ve bought in. We’re not going to change what we’re doing."
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) January 23, 2017
The Lakers have proven that on any given night they can hang with the best the NBA has to offer. They have wins over some top teams like the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, and Los Angeles Clippers in addition to hard-fought losses against the likes of the San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Utah Jazz.
The problem for the Lakers is stringing these kinds of performances together for an extended period of time. Walton notices that the Lakers relax and Larry Nance Jr. pointed out the same thing after Sunday’s loss.
Great teams never let up and that is something the Lakers must learn if they want to be successful. The talent is there, but the growth must take place for the Lakers to start moving up the standings.