The Los Angeles Lakers have competed on a nightly basis like a team that plays not just for the collective goal of winning, but for each other. The relationships between players are very obviously positive and jump off the screen. In a season that has offered plenty to like, this has been one of its cooler elements.
“As close as you guys see us on the floor, we’re probably even closer off the floor. We’re continuing to build chemistry, continue to build camaraderie. Whenever anyone does anything, we pretty much do it together on the road.
“We’ve just got that bunker mentality, that brotherhood when we hit the road and we just look out for one another. It’s a great group of guys and like I said, it’s always good energy. Everyone is energy givers and not energy seekers, and that’s big-time for a marathon of a season like this.”
The fact that James would say this after a loss should say enough, but the way that game went is even further evidence to what James is talking about.
Thursday night, the Lakers spotted Milwaukee as many as 21 points while L.A. looked thoroughly discombobulated offensively and lacked focus and energy on defense. Most teams would probably have closed up shop and been okay with hopefully playing even in the second half so as not to be completely blown out of the building.
Instead, the Lakers fought all the way back, closing to within single digits in the third quarter and scratching to within as few as six points on the final game of a 10-day road trip against quite clearly the best team in the NBA.
Only a couple nights prior, the Lakers competed well enough to probably win in Indiana even despite not having Anthony Davis available against one of the better front courts in the league.
And those are only a couple recent examples of such competition.
Now, it’s going to be interesting to see how well that chemistry holds up if this losing streak continues, but as a starting point, the extent to which everyone has gotten along can be the kind of thing they rally behind as they try to snap this two-game skid.