Rui Hachimura Focused On Bringing Energy Vs. Rockets, Which Lakers Lacked As A Whole
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Rui Hachimura made his return to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night after missing four games with a concussion and put forth his best game of the early season. The forward led the team with 24 points and eight rebounds off the bench, knocking down 10-of-14 shots from the field, but it didn’t matter as the Lakers were blown out by the Houston Rockets 128-94.

The same issues that have plagued the Lakers all season long continued to do so in Houston. The Lakers were outscored by 13 points in the first quarter, failing to even reach the 20-point mark and were once again dominated on the glass.

Following the game, Hachimura spoke to how he was able to come back with such a strong performance, but he felt the Lakers simply didn’t have enough energy from the start, as seen on Spectrum SportsNet:

“Like you guys know, I missed a couple games. But during that time I was able to watch the games and kind of see where I can fit on this team. I was just playing harder today and just bringing the energy off the bench. But as a team, I think were didn’t have enough energy. I feel like from the first quarter, I know we’ve been struggling in first quarter, and it was a rough first quarter again.”

The slow starts have been an issue for the Lakers as has rebounding and turnovers. Everyone on the team knows the problems, but so far they have been unable to fix them. LeBron James said they simply need to lock in, play hard and play together, and Hachimura echoed those sentiments:

“From shootaround. I think we need to lock in. You guys know, there’s a lot of injuries right now. We got to get healthy. But at the same time, we can’t make excuses. Every team is like that. We just got to get healthy and if someone is injured or someone can’t play, next man up. Everybody has to be ready from the first quarter. This year, we’ve been saying that like the whole season but first quarter is the key and I think that it’s gonna be in the next game too.”

The Lakers head to Phoenix for the final game of their road trip and their first game of the In-Season Tournament. As Hachimura said, being ready to go from the beginning will be absolutely crucial to their success on Friday night.

LeBron James says Lakers can’t build cohesion due to injuries

Obviously injuries have plagued the Lakers throughout this season as rotations and lineups have been in constant flux. James pointed to this as being a main reason the team has struggled to build up chemistry.

The superstar said the team can’t build cohesion since they “don’t have our unit” due to injuries. But regardless, LeBron says the team has to show up and keep playing together to turn things around no matter who is on the court.

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