After falling to the Golden State Warriors in consecutive games, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to bounce back on Sunday night at the Staples Center. The Lakers swept the season series with the Hawks in convincing fashion with two blowout wins over Dwight Howard and company.
Following the 15-point win over Atlanta, Tarik Black shed some light on why this team has exceeded expectations after a disappointing 17-win campaign last season, via ESPN’s Baxter Holmes:
“We give ourselves up for each other,” Black said. “We sacrifice for each other. You can see it on the court: open man gets the shot. We play defense for each other. You can see it on our team: We smile together, we laugh together. Man, we love each other in this locker room. We have a really good team. We have a really tight-knit group. That’s what it’s about, sacrificing for each other and putting selfishness to the side and [focusing on] what’s better for the team.”
With a record of 9-9, the Lakers are quickly changing the narrative as Luke Walton builds this new culture in Los Angeles. Although there’s a long way to go for this Lakers squad, things are trending in the right direction with all the players on the roster seemingly bought into Walton’s system.
Now that the Lakers were able to get back to .500, the team will embark on a four-game road trip. The team will play in two back-to-backs this week starting with the New Orleans Pelicans and Chicago Bulls on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Following a day off on Thursday, the Lakers will get back to work against the Toronto Raptors on Friday and finish out their road trip against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday. Black and company will return to the Staples Center on Dec. 5 against the Utah Jazz.