The Lakers looked primed to make a run to start the new year with a softer January schedule compared to December, beginning with a five-game homestand against an injury-riddled Miami Heat team.
Cold water was thrown on that theory on Wednesday when the Lakers lost the Jimmy Butler-less Heat to kick off this homestand. It was the ugliest loss of the season and the Lakers are now at their lowest point, sitting at 16-17, clinging on to the tenth and final play-in spot in the West.
After the defeat, Anthony Davis made it clear the time to win is now and these home games are must-win.
“Whatever it takes to win,” Davis said. “Every game for us, especially on this homestand, should be like a must-win for us. Get back into the win column and build off it. Nothing’s going to be easy for us. Couple great teams coming up. So, we got to figure it out, especially on the defensive end. Our attention to detail, guys locking in on the film and personnel and what to do in coverages, it seems like there’s been a lot slippage in those areas of focus and it’s reflecting on the floor.”
Davis has mentioned the team needing to figure things out defensively before and after Wednesday’s showing there’s clearly work to do.
The Lakers are at rock bottom right now, but the night is darkest before the dawn. There is top talent on this team with James and Davis likely making the All-Star team and Reaves currently in the top 10 in fan voting amongst guards in the West.
It’s up to head coach Darvin Ham to work with what he has to win these games at home and get the Lakers back above the .500 win mark.
If he doesn’t, the reports of a “deepening disconnect” will only get louder and we may be in for another huge shakeup in Los Angeles before the trade deadline.
The Lakers may not be good right now, but they are never boring.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.