It was a tale of two halves where the Lakers looked like a well-oiled machine in the opening half but came out with the check engine light on in the second, resulting in the Nets blowing the Lakers out at home.
Following the defeat, D’Angelo Russell was as composed as ever in discussing the current state of the Lakers.
“Obviously, it’s something we need to figure out and continue to work toward but I don’t think we hit the panic button yet. As a group, we’re still dealing with injuries and things like that. We’re slowly figuring things out. We were playing at a high level the last two games, this game was a little setback. I think this should motivate us for the next one.”
Russell is a consummate professional.
He’s seen it all in the purple and gold jersey, from 17-win seasons and Western Conference appearances to being traded to make room for a rookie to returning and producing like he never left.
Once again, he finds himself involved in multiple trade rumors and despite the distraction that could become, he’s played well in January for the Lakers, averaging 20.7 points on 50% shooting.
So, while there does need to be urgency in a team with two top-tier players like LeBron James and Anthony Davis playing sub-.500 basketball, it makes sense why you won’t see a panic coming from Russell; he’s been in every scenario and will always give his best effort regardless of the current situation.
Hopefully, getting embarrassed at home will ‘motivate’ this team, as Russell mentioned, but assuming it will would be unwise at this point.
L.A. will have a chance to bounce back from this disappointing game on Sunday versus the Portland Trail blazers, so we’ll see if the attention to detail is present or if we’ve only begun to see what rock bottom could be for this team.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.