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Lakers lose to Hawks, don’t seem particularly interested in making playoffs

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It might be time to stick a fork in the Lakers, because if they can’t beat the Hawks with their playoff hopes fading, why should we keep caring?

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NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Atlanta Hawks Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

In their final game before the All-Star break, the LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Atlanta Hawks, a team that has won just 19 games this season and doesn’t have a LeBron James, in a 117-113 road loss.

There were a few contributing factors to this loss, but for our purposes, we’ll just go through three of them: defense, layups and effort. Let’s start with defense.

The Lakers allowed the Hawks to score 100 points through three quarters. That’s a lot of points to give up to a team that is ranked 24th in the league in offensive rating.

The Lakers also allowed the Hawks to score 10 3-pointers in the first quarter alone. Ten. Ten of them.

Yes, not having Lonzo Ball on the court has caused their defense to take a step back, but they also just didn’t look like they cared, which bring us to our second point — effort.

No one, and I mean no one, in a Lakers uniform looked like they wanted to be on the court on Tuesday. James put up superstar numbers, ending the night with 28 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds and 3 steals, but to say he did everything he could to help his team win would be inaccurate. Superstar players don’t lose to bottom-five teams on nights where the stakes are as high they were tonight.

Last, but certainly not least, they missed so many freebies at the rim. I don’t have the stat on hand this soon after the game, but if I had to guess just by watching. it was at least 700, give or take a few.

The Lakers will have the next week off before coming back and hosting the Houston Rockets on Thursday, Feb. 21. Don’t be surprised if you see a different head coach on the sidelines when that game rolls around.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Christian on Twitter at @RadRivas.