The Los Angeles Lakers got blown out for the second time in their last three games, and head coach Luke Walton wasn’t thrilled with how his team came out against the Toronto Raptors.
"We weren’t mentally ready to compete against one of the better teams in the NBA tonight,” Walton said, and it was easy to see why he felt that way. The Lakers allowed Toronto to shoot 54.2 percent and 41.4 percent from behind the arc while turning the ball over 16 times.
“We didn’t come out with the right mentality,” said Lakers forward Julius Randle.
What the Lakers also didn’t come out with was a full roster. The team was playing in their third road game in four nights, while missing their starting backcourt of D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young. Randle said it doesn’t matter.
“It’s not an excuse, we’ve got to figure things out to try and get better,” Randle said. “When they come back, they come back.”
The Lakers need those two back as soon as possible, but Russell won’t be reevaluated until Monday while Young is expected to miss three-to-four weeks. No matter how mentally ready the Lakers come to play, that deficit is going to make it difficult for them to win games.
Things don’t get any easier from here, however. Randle is still dealing with a hip injury, while Larry Nance, Jr. is questionable for their game on Saturday with a knee contusion, according to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times.
Walton’s team can come out as ready as they want, but until they have closer to a full roster again, it’s going to be tough sledding for the Lakers.