The Los Angeles Lakers found themselves the furthest from the .500 mark they had been in 2021-22, falling to a 24-27 record after Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
L.A. has lost all three games since knee soreness sidelined LeBron James last week. The Lakers suffered two of those defeats even though they had Anthony Davis back in the lineup — who has been in terrific form since returning from an MCL injury.
Even another scoring outburst from Malik Monk didn’t prevent the Purple and Gold from falling to the Hawks. Monk recorded new season highs in points and threes made on Sunday, sinking eight triples on 14 attempts (57.1%) to end the night with 33 points.
But instead of celebrating his performance, the 23-year-old offered an honest assessment of the Lakers’ season when asked if L.A. has shown resilience while dealing with injuries throughout 2021-22.
“That happens in basketball, besides this COVID thing, you never know who’s gonna get hurt, who’s gonna be out, who’s got family issues and that’s something we’ve been battling all year,” Monk said.
“We don’t have the resilience yet, we don’t have it yet. That’s what we’ve been struggling with the whole season. We know what we got to do, we just got to put it together and we keep saying the same thing. We just got to go out there and do it.”
Injuries have undeniably impacted L.A.’s season considering the Lakers’ Big 3 has shared the court in just 16 of the 51 games they have played so far.
But L.A. is running out of time to work out the winning formula, as the Purple and Gold will face teams with winning records in about two-thirds of their remaining matchups.
Monk: Lakers missed James ’tremendously’ in Atlanta
Even though Monk thinks the Lakers should be able to win games without James, the Kentucky product admitted L.A. felt the impact of the four-time NBA champion’s absence in Atlanta.
“Yeah, y’all know exactly how it is, he’s just LeBron, man,” Monk said following the loss to Atlanta. “[H]e’s out there orchestrating everything for us. He’s missed. He’s missed tremendously, but that’s our job to figure out how to play without him because we’re not always gonna have him.
“We might be down somebody at all times, so you never know. But yeah, he’s missed tremendously.”
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