The Lakers have been off since Tuesday, a terrible loss to the Warriors on national television which brought, front and center, all that is wrong with this team. Losing to the best team in the league — one motivated to break an all-time record on their home court — isn’t in itself embarrassing. Losing by playing as bad as the team did with Kobe floundering to a 1-14 shooting effort is not the same as going down admirably.
As the team’s play continues to suffer, it gets harder to insulate themselves from the criticism and critiques that stem from it. After the games, the beat reporters look for explanations from the players and the coaches. The onus is on those in the locker room to provide insight and context to what is happening on the floor. Speaking to why you are bad or why something isn’t working can get exhausting. Add in what’s going on with Kobe and things can turn uncomfortable.
This is the backdrop for the team right now. They are 2-12 and, after a back to back Saturday and Sunday, the Lakers head out on the road for an eastern road trip. It is not so much whether the losses ensue, but how they play in accumulating those losses. Good play from the young players, a solid Kobe game or two, more strategic game plans from the coaches will go a long way in pacifying some of the critics even if the losses don’t stop. Is this team up for that, at least?