There were a number of reasons as to why the Lakers lost that game, including turnovers, fouls and just plain effort, but head coach Luke Walton said it was mostly because they once again stopped trusting each other and tried to do it on their own.
“The ball was moving beautifully when we built our lead,” Walton said, “And then we got to the fourth and we had a couple of possessions of nice ball movement, and then once shots didn’t go in, guys start trying to do it on their own. That’s not a recipe for us to win.
“It cost us tonight in the fourth quarter again,” Walton continued. “It’s a little frustrating, but no one’s feeling sorry for us.”
Just from watching the tape, one could probably come to the same conclusion Walton did, but the players in the locker room felt a little differently. JaVale McGee said he doesn’t feel like anyone has done more than what’s been asked of them in the absence of LeBron James, Rajon Rondo and Kyle Kuzma.
“There is usually a tendency (to do that), but I don’t feel like that’s what we’re doing,” McGee said. “I feel like the guys that are trying to be aggressive are the usual guys that are trying to be aggressive. B.I., he’s usually aggressive, so that’s what his job is.
“I don’t feel like anybody was out of their body trying to do too much, I just feel like defensively we needed to step it up.”
McGee also said that he thought there were things the Lakers could have done differently to win the game.
“I think we didn’t stay consistent on what was working,” McGee said. “There was a lot of things that were working that we could have did, a lot of plays that we could have ran. We just didn’t do it.”
Walton and his team will have to get on the same page if they want to survive the next four games without James. Regardless of whether the blame should be put on Walton or the players, something needs to be figured out soon.