Last night’s loss to the Golden State Warriors was a wake up call. After starting the game strong, the Lakers took the foot off the gas and ended up losing the game. It’s been a far too common tale this season. The pattern for the Lakers is either having a slow start, and then turning it on late or starting off great then slowly play disinterested at the end. What happened to the Lakers was the latter part.
The Lakers were rolling through most of the game. In fact, they looked like they were going to run away with the game especially in the first half. Ball movement was great, their effort was there and they were slicing up the Warriors defense thanks to Dennis Schroder. His speed made it difficult for the Warriors. What happened in the 4th quarter was unexpected. Throughout the season so far, usually the Lakers are good enough to close out games even when it’s close. Last night, they looked lazy and disinterested in closing out the game. Turnovers, lack of effort, and settling for perimeter shots were the main culprits. They also let Steph Curry and the Warriors gain some momentum and confidence which is a recipe for disaster. Curry, on his own can hit shots at a rapid pace, and hit them in key moments.
Fifteen games into the season, and the Lakers have bad habits that need to be addressed. They get very lackadaisical after building bid leads. As the defending champions, the Lakers have to know they will be getting the best shot from every opponent no matter what their record is. Are the Lakers still a good team? Of course they are, but they need to start closing out games like they’re a good team. It starts with their leaders in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. They have to set the tone and put teams away when they can. Last night’s loss is a learning experience and a wake up call. I hope the Lakers learned their lesson.