The Lakers had moments on Monday where they could've rallied back and beaten the Boston Celtics. However, they fell short in the fourth quarter, unable to beat their biggest rival and are now 4-6 in their last 10 games.
Against a top team like Boston, the margin for error is small. The Lakers fell behind 12-0 to start the game, were outscored inside the paint and were careless with the ball, with 19 turnovers as a team.
After the game, Darvin Ham talked about the focus on the details being something this team needs to improve on.
"We fell asleep in transition D at times," Ham said. "They were able to get behind us, get layups, dunks. Then there was a miscommunication about matchups, Al (Horford) hit a huge open three in front of their bench. Lot of work to do. I told the team after the game, it's not so much that I think our level of talent or our (competitiveness), there's a lot of great teams, there's no nights off in the league anymore, but we can’t skip the details. We can't get bored with the details; sprinting back each and every time no matter how difficult it may be with fatigue, what have you, you have to sprint in transition D and allow a chance to have the offense in front of you and not be scattered or have them behind you. And then not fouling, getting a defensive rebound, not turning the ball over, being organized and playing with force offensively."
Being defensively solid as a team requires focus and communication. Everyone has to stay sharp and engaged to work well as a team. Now, the Lakers haven't been healthy and that likely makes it difficult to have chemistry and communication where they should be after 31 games. Still, the Lakers need to improve, or else they'll be on the losing end of many games, especially in a stacked Western Conference.
LeBron James seems to be on the same page as Ham regarding the team's performance and the importance of the game's nuances.
"I agree with Coach Ham as far as the details," James said postgame. "When you don't have much room for error, you have to be detail-oriented. You have to understand each possession. When you're able to execute that as close to perfection then you're going to give yourself and even better chance to be successful. When we play defense for 24 seconds and give up an offensive rebound or second-chance points or we don't get back in transition, we give them early transition points – whoever it is, doesn't matter if it's the Celtics or any other team – that's not a good recipe for our success."
The recipe for success is still a work in progress for the Lakers, but knowing there's a problem is the first step to solving it.
Effort, energy and attention to detail are all things this team can get better at, regardless of who is on the floor. Hopefully, they can start building good habits as we close out 2023 and head towards the new year.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.