There were plenty of descriptors one could use to describe the Los Angeles Lakers’ franchise-worst 49 point loss to the Dallas Mavericks, and Head Coach Luke Walton had a few suggestions of his own following the game.
“We didn’t show up to play, honestly, which is frustrating,” Walton said (according to Joey Ramirez of Lakers.com). “And honestly it’s embarrassing — for us as a team, for us as an organization, for our Lakers fans that are so good to us.”
Making matters more painful for Lakers fans was that they put up such a horrendous showing on the 11th anniversary of their former superstar Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game, so now Januray 22nd will bring to mind memories both good and bad for the franchises’ faithful.
Did the Lakers show up to play? There is no statistic for effort, but the eye test certainly suggested they were quick to roll over once the Mavericks got a lead. The team shot just 38.4 percent from the field against a Dallas defense that ranks 20th in the NBA in defensive efficiency while allowing open three after open three on the other end.
Still, Walton isn’t worried about his team’s morale. It sounds like he thinks (hopes?) the loss was an extreme one-game aberration:
The Lakers are headed in the right direction overall, but sometimes it’s tough to see the forest for the six losses in the team’s last seven games. The Lakers 10-10 start through expectations out of whack for the young team, but they also shouldn’t be this bad.
The Lakers have two days off before their next game to collect themselves, and whether this loss provides the motivation to slowly right the ship or pushes an already fragile team further into the doldrums will be worth fans’ attention.
All stats per NBA.com. and Basketball-Reference.com. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here, or listen to our latest show about the loss below), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.