With their sixth loss in the last seven games, and another blown double-digit lead, the Los Angeles Lakers are going through their worst stretch of the season. Even though Anthony Davis is still injured, one would think that having LeBron James and Russell Westbrook is more than enough to push through, but that hasn’t been the case so far.
Against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Lakers managed just 16 points in the fourth quarter, being outscored by 10 on their way to a five-point loss. This was a far cry from their effort the prior night against Houston when they dropped 35 points in the final quarter.
The main difference, at least in the eyes of Westbrook, was the lack of ball movement.
“Just our ball movement,” the Lakers’ point guard said. “Just play different. Two fourth quarters in Houston and tonight just different the way we played. It is what it is.”
Westbrook also pointed to the shot selection as being an issue as well. “You can watch the television too and see where our shots come from. Not much in the paint,” Westbrook added.
“Some in the paint, but just how long it takes to get rhythm shots where they were. But it’s neither here nor there. It doesn’t matter now. At this point, just got to get ready for the next one and do a better job of executing, especially in the fourth.”
The Lakers’ execution down the stretch of games has been one of many sore spots this season. Despite having two of the best attackers in Westbrook and James, the team often struggles to get good looks when they really need to. Their penchant for turnovers also hurts them immensely as it leads to easy buckets for the opposition and puts the Lakers in even more of a hole.
None of these issues are unknown or new for the Lakers. This team knows what they need to fix in order to turn things around, but it will be up to James, Westbrook, and Davis when he returns, to lead the way.
Westbrook believes he and James are figuring out their chemistry
Building chemistry has been the ongoing struggle for the Lakers this season, but Westbrook believes he and James are starting to figure some things out.
“Just figuring it out. We’ve been able to kind of create some chemistry on things we like to see when defenses are trying to guard both of us together.
“People don’t really want to switch, so it gives us a good advantage and my job is to be able to make sure I put the ball in position to make it easy for ‘Bron to do what he was able to do and that’s finish well around the basket.”
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