The Los Angeles Lakers once again made their fans feel pretty frustrated, and angry. Instead of competing for the top spot in their conference, purple and gold are struggling against the teams who are in the lower part of the league when looking at the standings.
Last night, Lakers lost at home against a franchise who sits last in the East, and is considered by the majority of the experts as the weakest in the whole NBA. The Cleveland Cavaliers.
The final result, 95-101 for the guests from Ohio.
Without LeBron James, the Lakers are looking pretty lost, and without control, and what is even more frightening for their future, without energy.
🎥 Lonzo Ball shares his thoughts on how the team can rebound from its recent skid. pic.twitter.com/btrZTk5Nmt
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 14, 2019
“We’re losing games,” Lonzo Ball began his answer on one question which considered the lack of energy in Lakers games.” So I don’t know why energy is not there”
Why is this so threatening for the Lakers?
If one player who has 34 years is the most energetic in a team filled with 20-something guys, that is a bit strange. Kuzma, Ingram, Ball, Hart all these guys have to be the ones who carry this team and supply it with energy, while on the other hand, James and the veterans have to point that force in the right direction.
It seems that in this case, LeBron does everything, and these recent results are a confirmation of our claim. They are 3-7 without LBJ, whose condition is still not great which means that there will be a lot more games for the Lakers without him.
The fact that Ball and the youngsters can’t carry this team on their own only increases the level of frustration after failures such as this one. When James picked up an injury, that opened a chance for the young players to step up and show their capabilities. It was expected from them to lead this team successfully until he recovers.
But it turned out to be a bit different.
“We want to win, this is kinda our team now, other teammates are looking to us to make this happen, but we are not doing it,” Ball spoke about the fact that he and Kuzma are leaders of the Lakers now. “We just have to do better.”
Against the Cavaliers, almost every aspect of their game was beneath the required level. Once again, they’ve entered the contest without energy on the defensive side of the court. This was the fifth time in the previous six games that they allowed 30 or more points in the opening period, allowing the opponent to gain confidence and routine in his attack.
Coach Walton indicated that there would be some changes in the starting lineup after this game. He admitted having problems with the defense in the opening quarter.
“We might have to do something to the starting lineup right now. You know, every game it feels like we’re giving up 30+ points in the first quarter. So, it will take a closer look at that”
"We had plenty of chances to get back over the hump and we just didn't so as a group we've got to be better."
Luke Walton offers his post-game thoughts after tonight's 101-95 loss to Cleveland. pic.twitter.com/JUprrmBhAt
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) January 14, 2019
Lakers need to react really fast and find the formula for winning some games again. At the moment they are tied at the 8th place of the Western Conference with the Utah Jazz with 23 wins and 21 defeats. Sacramento is behind with half a game, while the Spurs, Clippers and the Rockets have two games edge over them.
If they continue to play like this, the playoffs are going to be just a dream. They will have a challenging schedule in the next two weeks. After Tuesday’s game against ht Bulls at Staples, Lakers will have four tough games against the teams who are all in the playoff area. First, versus the Thunder in OKC, then in Houston, and after that a big clash against the champs at home, and Minnesota, also at Staples.
It will be the moment of truth for this squad.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.