The Los Angeles Lakers saw their four-game winning streak snapped after they were defeated by the red-hot Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night.
Through three quarters of the game, the Lakers were thoroughly outplayed by the Grizzlies, who dominated them on both ends of the floor. Los Angeles was on the verge of suffering a blowout loss before the bench, led by Austin Reaves and Wayne Ellington, reeled off a 21-0 fourth-quarter run that made things interesting.
Ultimately, Los Angeles’ comeback fell short, but it was good to see the team fight back after seemingly giving up earlier in the evening. Dismal losses were a regular occurrence earlier in the 2021-22 season for the Lakers as they dealt with players constantly in and out of the lineups and Wayne Ellington admitted that it has been difficult to adjust.
“It’s been a roller coaster of a year,” Ellington said after the game. “When you look from the beginning of the season until now, to me it flew by honestly and we just haven’t had our whole team all year. And it sucks honestly because we haven’t been able to see exactly who we are, what potential that we can reach. But that’s part of it.”
However, Ellington added that he still believes L.A. can get hot at the right time and make a legitimate run similar to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL last season.
“It’s funny, you know, talking to Bron earlier after free agency. We were in Vegas for a little team bonding. He kept comparing the team to Tampa Bay [Buccaneers]. Tom Brady’s first year and they won the Super Bowl and they started out 7-5 and everybody was like, ‘Oh no.’ They hit their stride at the right time, ended up winning the whole thing.
“So that’s one of the things I always reach back to when you see how our season has been going so far. Remaining positive, remaining professional. Understanding that this thing can turn in the right direction for us.”
The Buccaneers did not enter the 2021 NFL playoffs as Super Bowl favorites, but really put things together as a team toward the end of the 2021 NFL season. Sure enough, Tampa Bay had a dominant postseason run and wound up winning Super Bowl LV.
Despite the disappointing record halfway through the year, there is room for optimism that the Lakers can put things together as a team and string together quality wins. L.A. is still without Anthony Davis, but could be getting a key rotation player back in Kendrick Nunn soon.
Davis and Nunn could give the Purple and Gold that extra boost or gear to help them reach the ceiling that still exists for this roster.
Wayne Ellington believes best is yet to come for Lakers
The month of December was rough for the Lakers who saw players go down to injuries or get placed into the league’s health and safety protocols. At the time, it was hard to see L.A. dig themselves out of that hole, but Ellington remained confident that the best was yet to come for the Lakers.
Since then, Los Angeles has been able to settle on an identity and they continue to show progress. At this rate, it is not crazy to think the Lakers could be in the mix come the postseason.
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