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Wayne Ellington says the Lakers are still hoping they can have a breakthrough at the right time

Despite being losers of 12 of their last 15 games, Wayne Ellington says the Lakers locker room has not lost hope and there is confidence a breakthrough can still happen.

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Toronto Raptors v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

The Lakers may continue to lose games and flirt with the disaster of missing the play-in tournament, but at least someone of them are maintaining borderline irrational confidence and faith in the team. Wednesday’s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves was the third straight and 12th in the last 15 games, dropping them from in the running for the No. 8 or No. 7 seed in the Western Conference to one game above the Pelicans in the 10th seed.

Despite that stretch over the last six weeks, Wayne Ellington hasn’t lost faith that the Lakers can turn things around. Speaking after the Minnesota game, Ellington mentioned that keeping belief isn’t easy but it’s something the locker room has to do.

“It’s tough. It’s tough man,” Ellington said. “We’ve got a veteran group and one thing we’ve been able to do in our locker room is keep hope alive and keep our energy within our team alive and stay positive with each other and hope for a breakthrough at the right time.”

Wednesday’s loss featured the Lakers shooting horribly from beyond the arc to start the game as they went 2/21 from the 3-point line in the first half, leading to Ellington’s minutes to try to turn that around. To his credit, Ellington was responsible for both made long-range efforts.

“I just feel like there’s a rhythm to the game,” Ellington said. “We got a lot of clean looks, open looks tonight. Unfortunately it’s kind of contagious man, once you see a couple of them go out, it’s like ‘man, the next one’s gotta go in’ and you start pressing a little bit... But at the same time we’ve been getting some clean looks. Some good looks. We’ve got to step up and knock those down.”

Part of their short-lived second-half comeback featured a positive regression to the mean from beyond the arc as they connected on six of their 15 attempts and eight total 3-pointers in total. While Ellington joked about being “confident” the team will get hot and hit 20 threes against Toronto on Friday, he also acknowledged the struggles to find consistency this season.

“That’s kind of been our Kryptonite all year is our year,” Ellington said. “In terms of lineups, in terms of guys in the rotation, guys getting hurt, guys having up and down nights. I don’t think so far this year we’ve really found a stride or hit a stride where we’ve played the same style the same consistent way all year long. As you see out there, we’ll get down 20, we’ll cut it to 10, cut it to eight, and then that takes a lot of our energy and next thing you know we’re down 20 again, and I think that’s one thing that we’ve got to establish, especially going into this potential play-in situation is our consistency on both sides of the floor with our energy and our effort.”

Perhaps those runs of cutting big leads down to single digits is what fuels Ellington’s confidence in the team eventually getting things right. But the idea of it coming at the “right time” seems a bit far-fetched as the right time was about 20 games ago.

Multiple things can be true here, though. Ellington can and should have confidence in the Lakers to get things right even with the season dwindling down as that’s what you want players on the roster to feel. But the reality is this team is long past the point of having any sort of faith that could happen.

Is it impossible for things to click at whatever the “right time” is? No. But the Lakers will have to show it before anyone outside the team believes it.

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

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