Rui Hachimura Calls Out Lakers For ‘Messing Around’ Against Grizzlies
Rui Hachimura, Scotty Pippen Jr., Lakers, Grizzlies
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Going into Friday night’s matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Los Angeles Lakers seemed to be in for an easy win.

The Grizzlies’ season went south a while ago due to injuries and with only a couple games they remaining, they had 13 players out against the Lakers. Meanwhile, it was a crucial game for L.A., who is still fighting for playoff positioning in a loaded Western Conference.

That is not how the game played out, however, as the Lakers came out sloppy and disinterested. They allowed the Grizzlies to hang around for the whole game before pulling away in the final minute for a close victory.

One person who was not happy after the Lakers’ victory was Rui Hachimura. He called out his team for not coming out with intensity and taking care of business so the starters could rest in the fourth quarter.

“You guys saw tonight, they really had nothing to lose,” Hachimura said of the Grizzlies. “They just played hard, this is the Lakers, for them it’s like a playoff game. We definitely played probably one of the worst games probably this whole season and it can’t happen like this. It’s the end of the season already, but we’re trying to build something for the playoffs. So we can’t be messing around with a team like this. It was a close game, we were supposed to have our young guys play this game. So we didn’t do a good job, I feel like. But a win is a win, we got this one. It’s an NBA game, but we got to prepare from this.”

Turnovers were the main issue for the Lakers as they gave the ball away 19 times, which Hachimura believes was due to a lack of focus.

“For sure. Yeah. We were just loose today. Offensively, we didn’t really share the ball,” Hachimura added. “We were just moving around, we weren’t really moving well, I feel like, from the start of the game. They were moving the ball, they were playing harder and we were struggling. The turnovers messed up our rhythm too. They were able to get on fastbreaks, 3-on-1 or whatever, and they scored easily. So those are the stuff we got to look for, for sure.”

The good news for the Lakers is that a win counts as a win regardless of how lopsided it is and the quality of opponent.

Hopefully Hachimura and the Lakers can use this as a learning experience though as there is no more margin for error the rest of the way with only one regular season game left and then the Play-In Tournament and postseason.

Anthony Davis: Lakers need to control what they can control

In addition to beat the Grizzlies on Friday, the Lakers also got some help with other results around the league, bumping them up to eighth in the West.

They have a chance to clinch that eighth spot with a win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday, and Anthony Davis emphasized they need to control what they can control now that they can’t rely on other results across the league to help them.

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