Lakers take their show on the road. Can they get their act together?
Russell Westbrook gazed at package rating from the Lakers’ 121-103 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Monday as if he may discover a concealed description amongst the minus indications and bad three-point shooting portion printed on the sheet of paper in front of him. Either that, or he hoped the strength of his look would burn holes in it and damage the proof of another frustrating efficiency by the Lakers at Staples Center.
They opened the season with 12 of their very first 15 video games in the house, a soft schedule that needs to have enabled them to develop self-confidence while they developed a winning record. They played the 3 roadway video games on 2 journeys — a back-to-back series at San Antonio and Oklahoma City, and a check out to Portland — so they were spared needing to take a trip to the Eastern time zone.
Their depth needs to have kept them going even after LeBron James strained a stomach muscle on Nov. 2 and left the lineup. That’s why they packed up on veterans last summertime.
Very little has actually exercised the method the Lakers prepared.
James stays daily after missing his seventh straight video game, their depth hasn’t conserved them, their defense hasn’t been as reputable or constant as it was last season, and they stumbled through the cushiest part of their schedule with a 7-5 record in the house and 8-7 total. Quickly, things will get harder. On Wednesday they’ll deal with the protecting NBA champ Dollars at Milwaukee to release a five-game journey that will take them out of the Pacific time zone and out of their convenience zone.
“We welcome the road trip. It will be good for us,” coach Frank Vogel stated. “We’ve been struggling a little bit and a change in environment should be good for us.”
It can’t get much even worse than their loss to the Bulls on Monday, in which they routed by 28 points in the 4th quarter. “I don’t think you’re going to beat anybody shooting six for 32 from three in today’s game,” Carmelo Anthony stated. “We can talk about a lot of other things that went on tonight, but when you shoot six for 32 from three you’re not going to beat anybody unless you’re on point in every other aspect of the game. And that’s how the night went for us.
“There’s no excuses for that. We shot 18% tonight from three and we can make a couple more threes the game might change. But it’s one of them nights. It’s just one of them nights we weren’t getting a lot of looks, we weren’t making the shots that we were taking. I don’t know what else to say about that.”
Their objective for the journey is easy, according to Anthony.
“Get the win Wednesday,” he stated. “Then from that point on, you’re on the road, so that first game on the road is always a big one to get. We know it will be tough going in there and getting it but we believe in ourselves and we feel that we’ve got the team to go in there and do it. Why not go on the road and start it off with a win?
“Wednesday for sure is very big on our list.”
Every other video game needs to be simply as huge for the Lakers, who hope remaining in each other’s business for their cold-weather odyssey to Milwaukee, Boston, Detroit, New York City and Indiana may be simply what they require now.
“It creates more togetherness, cohesiveness and finding ways to lean on each other,” Westbrook stated of the chance for gamers to bond while away from house. “We know you go on the road, you’re going against the home crowd so you have no choice but to lean on each other. If you don’t, you don’t have a chance to win.”
Forward Talen Horton-Tucker, who scored a career-high 28 points Monday and connected for the group rebounding lead with 6, thinks this journey is coming at a great time for the Lakers and can assist them end up being more cohesive on and off the court.
“The road is definitely a place for us where our bond has to come together,” he stated. “The whole team just has to jell a little bit more on the road. We know we’re going to be just with each other. We have no choice but to get that chemistry up, so we’re just going to try to get better from here.”
The Dollars (6-8) have actually lost their last 2 video games and have actually enabled their challenger to score 100 or more points in all however one video game. However as the protecting champs they’ll offer a determining stick for the Lakers as they approach the one-quarter point of the season. Anthony stated 15 video games weren’t enough to examine the group however the Lakers will reach the 20-game mark by the end of this journey. It won’t be prematurely to pass judgment then.
“After the first 20 games, then we know where we’re at. We know what we need to do, after the first 20 games,” he stated. “For me, I just analyze the season like that, kind of break the season down into four parts, three or four parts, but the first 20 games is kind of getting out of the gate and seeing what we have as a team. Evaluating us after that, especially with injuries, guys being out, guys coming back.
“It’s a long season. I’m going to keep saying that until we get to the halfway mark. But it’s a long season. There’s some things that we have to do, have to get better at, have to learn from. … There’s things that we have to get better at. We will get better at. We know it. We talk about it. We discuss it. So now it’s just a matter of putting that in motion.”
They haven’t gotten their act together yet however they need to take it on the roadway, anyhow. They can return as a group bonded by difficulty or as a group still looking for an identity.
This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Times.
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.