Unlike their dispiriting loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, the Los Angeles Lakers looked like a much more engaged team against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.
It is anyone’s guess what Lakers team will show up on any given night, but they put up a valiant effort against a Mavericks squad that is hitting their stride. Los Angeles was actually in position to win, but squandered a fourth-quarter lead and wound up taking home another loss.
With another defeat on the books, Los Angeles now only holds a two-game lead over the New Orleans Pelicans for the 10 seed. While there might be some worry about missing the Play-In Tournament outright, Russell Westbrook expressed his confidence they would stay in the race.
“Super confident that we’re gonna be alright.”
Westbrook went on to explained where his confidence stems from despite their poor play basically all season.
“Because I have confidence in this group. I always have and we can play the best teams. I’m not worried about nobody we have to play. We’ve beaten the best teams, we lost to some of the worst teams.
“Our confidence and my confidence in this group is extremely high because I know what we’re capable of when we put our mind to it and do exactly what we need to do on a night in and night out basis.”
Westbrook’s play all season has been a hot topic of debate and he did not do too much to quell the noise after shooting 5-of-17 from the field against the Mavericks. However, the point guard owned up to his rough stretch and admitted he needs to do more to help them win.
“I just got to be better overall,” Westbrook admitted. “What I’m doing right now isn’t good enough. Isn’t good enough.”
With only 21 games remaining, there is not much time left for Westbrook to win back the fan base especially after he has cost them several games already. Head coach Frank Vogel has done his best to utilize lineups around Westbrook, but unfortunately, the same problems persist regardless of who shares the floor with him.
As far as the Play-In Tournament is concerned, the Lakers are still well-positioned to make it, but making it out is an entirely different question. While Westbrook remains confident about their chances, the reality is they are in serious danger of missing the postseason entirely.
Howard trying to remain positive despite tough losses
Another player who has tried to keep the team’s head above water is Dwight Howard. While Howard does not play many minutes these days, his energy and encouragement helps dispel some of the negative vibes around the roster.
After their embarrassing loss to the Pelicans, Howard urged everyone to remain positive even as the losses continue to pile up.
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