After returning home from a road trip like the one the Lakers had last week, there is often a letdown for teams in the NBA. The figurative sigh of relief of being back home often leads to a drop in energy level and, all of a sudden, you suffer a loss.
The Lakers, though, did not fall into that common trap. While the start was slow on Saturday against the Rockets, it was not due to a low energy level and when the execution met the level of effort, the Lakers flipped the game on its side and took complete control of the contest.
It was an impressive performance and one that left even LeBron James surprised afterward.
“I was more surprised at the energy level that we had after coming off that road trip,” LeBron said. “I mean, anytime you’re coming off a road trip, I think we left last Friday, so almost about eight days in that first home game after a week or so, road trip was always difficult, but we found the energy. That was the most surprising thing.”
One of the biggest possible reasons for the energy level rising was the morale boost from getting multiple players back from injury. Having Cam Reddish, Jaxson Hayes and Jarred Vanderbilt all return to the lineup gave the Lakers a boost mentally.
For a team searching for some positive momentum after an opening 21 games that saw them struggle to string together wins, having a performance like Saturday’s could be even bigger. I certainly wouldn’t call it a turning point in the season, but it’s the type of win that could kickstart a far more positive second quarter of the Lakers season.
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