The Lakers fell to yet another team with low expectations as the Lakers barely limp into the All-Star break. After winning a miraculous game against their heated rival, the Celtics just a few nights ago, the Lakers laid another egg last night to the Atlanta Hawks. After falling to the Sixers previously, the defense was lacking and it’s apparent. All season, the Lakers have played in spurts. Usually slow during the first half, and then turn it up in the third only to fall short at the tail end of games. Last night was no different. The body language of LeBron James was not looking good during crunch time versus the Hawks. It might have been fatigue, being that he had to play most of the game. The team looked lost, and they blew a ton of layups during the game. Combine that with turnovers, defensive lapses, a lack of urgency and it’s just a recipe for disaster. Maybe a break is warranted, since they’ve got to find a way to refocus and get things back in order.
In their last 10 games, the Lakers are a poultry 3-7 and head into the All-Star break at 28-29 overall. Injuries have somewhat derailed what a healthy Lakers team can look at this point. Earlier in the season, the Lakers were having fun, learning together and playing for one another. Since then, with different lineup changes, the cohesion has disappeared and frustration has set in. Coach Luke Walton and his staff have done a fairly good job given the circumstances he’s had to deal with. But having a superstar on your team, the expectations are a lot higher. We can easily point the finger at Walton, but it’s not entirely all his fault that the Lakers are where they are. Players are accountable, as well as the front office that put this team together.
Is it time to panic yet? No, it’s not time to panic because the Lakers are currently just 2 1/2 games out of the last playoff spot and 4 1/2 games out of the 6th and 7th spot in the West. Not to say that we aren’t concerned, because we are, but there’s plenty of basketball left to play and they can make a serious run if they want to. What the Lakers have to do is rest up, regroup and come out with a sense of urgency. No one is going to feel sorry for the Lakers, especially with what went on with the whole Anthony Davis situation, but that’s another story for another day. I still believe the Lakers will somehow make it into the playoffs and that will be a success for them. If they somehow fail to qualify for the playoffs, well then there is no one to blame but the organization itself from top to bottom.