The Los Angeles Lakers’ poor stretch of basketball continued when they were thrashed by the Portland Trail Blazers on the road on Saturday night, moving them to .500 during the 2021-22 season.
The Trail Blazers have also been struggling through the early portion of the season but did not look like a team that had been disappointing as they clearly outplayed the Lakers through three quarters. Los Angeles managed to narrow the gap in garbage time, but the reality is they put up an embarrassing effort in a game that felt over after the first quarter.
L.A. gave up 36 and 42-point quarters to Portland and Malik Monk had a simple answer for why they performed so poorly in an interview with Spectrum SportsNet’s Mike Trudell:
“Defensive end. We weren’t urgent enough. Wasn’t up on screens, we really didn’t execute the gameplan how we’re supposed to.”
However, Monk added that he still believes that he and the rest of the roster will figure things out together:
“When we’re down like that, that’s when we try to build the team chemistry and not play the wrong way. Keep trying to build trust in guys and feel each other out cause we’re still a brand new team. We still gotta figure each other out like I said. It’ll happen. It’ll happen over time.”
While it is true that the Lakers are in the process of figuring things out as a unit, it should not prevent them from showing more fight on the court. As soon as Portland took a big lead, Los Angeles seemed to lose sense of motivation or urgency to climb back in it.
Head coach Frank Vogel preached urgency after their recent loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and they could certainly use it after suffering another humiliating loss like this one. There is plenty of time to make things right, though Monk and the Lakers have their work cut out for them.
Frank Vogel emphasizes growth
Any time a roster undergoes an overhaul like the Lakers’ one did, there is going to be an adjustment period before everyone gets on the same page. In the Lakers’ case, the early season struggles are not a surprise and Vogel made sure to emphasize that all the work to get right is part of the growth of the team going forward.
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