Two weeks before the “trade deadline”, the Lakers are still navigating in troubled waters. Beaten this Sunday by the Hawks and currently on a series of three consecutive defeats, they thus remain ranked in 9th place in the Western Conference, especially plunging more into the negative (24 wins – 27 losses).
Inevitably, the Californian faces were closed in the post-match interview, at the end of this umpteenth setback conceded after a collective collapse. Because it is indeed the 12th time of the season (in 51 games) that the “Purple & Gold” bowed having counted at least 10 points in advance in the game!
No other team has done worse in the league.
« We are frustrated, because we were supposed to win this game », also regretted Anthony Davis (27 points), afterwards. ” It was our own mistakes that cost us this game, while we can control them. Alright Trae. [Young] made some complicated shots and we can’t control him. But there are certain details, like offensive rebounds or ball losses, that we can control to give us a chance to come away with the victory. That’s what’s frustrating. […] We have no excuses, but we have to be better on both sides of the pitch. »
Customary Lakers of the fact
In the lead 101-91 with twelve minutes remaining, thanks to their first three quarters filled with skill (62% on shots and 50% from 3-pts!), the Lakers then sank in the last act (38 -20), ahead of the repeated assaults of Trae Young (36 points, 12 assists) and Onyeka Okongwu (16 points) in attack. And Frank Vogel’s men were also unable to find solutions in front of the Hawks’ zone defense.
A collapse in good and due form, which is certainly not new for this team.
« The most frustrating aspect is that we are unable to finish our matches well », added Malik Monk (33 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists), about this failed fourth quarter. ” There have been many games where our opponents have come back to beat us. The, [les Hawks] increased the pressure and we played their game. We weren’t energetic enough, there was no sense of urgency at home and we didn’t respond in the right way. »
Once again overwhelmed defensively and irregular offensively, the Los Angeles franchise is still struggling to find its cruising speed collectively, while injuries continue to affect the workforce of the “Purple & Gold”. The latest being obviously that of the left knee of LeBron James.
When a reaction?
However, despite disappointing results and an inability to react, some players do not want to start being alarmed. Even if the second third of the season is slowly but surely approaching…
« We are not in the position that we would like to be in, but everything is fine. We know what we have to do collectively. We need to find a way to overcome these hurdles and finish matches well. », tempered as often a Russell Westbrook (20 points, 7 rebounds, 12 assists) which is intended to be positive.
As against the Hornets on Friday night, the Lakers lacked juice and lucidity in the last minutes against the Hawks, struggling to push down an opponent who was nevertheless largely catchable and just as asleep in defense.
Irreproachable at this level the year of their coronation, the Californians have therefore lost their “killer instinct” and they will try to find some colors at home, after their failed “road-trip” in the East (2 wins – 4 losses ).
« We weren’t far [de gagner], but we have been too short in our last two games “, said Frank Vogel, rightly, last night. ” We played well but we missed each other at the end. We will now go home, put this road trip behind us and prepare for the next game. Does it matter if LeBron [James] is there or not. »