My apologies, but this game preview won’t be a game preview at all. Logistically, the Lakers face the Hornets on Monday, the second night of a back to back after playing in Memphis on Sunday night. But the game ahead, really, is just the scheduled event. It makes little sense to me to write about that game when this team has little chance to win that game.
In reality, this team has little chance of winning any game they play. That sounds harsh, I know. But, in reality, this is where we are with the Lakers.
I’m not saying they won’t win more games. As I wrote in my preview for the Grizzlies game, they’d won 2 of their previous 6 heading into that match up. But, in reviewing those wins what stands out more and more is what went into getting those wins. Mostly those wins were based on strong individual performances. From Kobe or from one of the young players. Maybe from Lou Williams. But the wins have not come from scheme or from some strategic advantage or adjustment made in game which triggered a run.
This leads to implications against the coach and, well, there should be. The Lakers do not look prepared. They are also not playing hard defensively as a group. They do not look engaged offensively often enough, either. When this happens in the NBA you lose and you lose big.
There's losing & then there's the type of losing the Lakers have been doing of late where every team seems to get up by at least 20.
— Darius Soriano (@forumbluegold) December 28, 2015
Little did I know how true that was.
The Lakers will fall to 5-26. They have trailed by at least 20 points in each of their last seven losses.
— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) December 28, 2015
I don’t want to blame the coach for this entirely. The players are still the ones on the floor and it is still on them to play hard. They need to play smarter on both ends of the floor, especially defensively. They lack discipline on that side of the floor and simply do too many things poorly. Without knowing exactly what the coaches are teaching, it’s difficult to discern how much this is on the players and how much is on the scheme the team is executing.
Ultimately, though, there is little else to say about this team. Especially in relation to other teams and how they match up and what they can do to win games. So, yes, the Hornets are on the schedule. They are one of the surprise teams in the East this year, boasting one of the better defenses in the league and a viable offense. I expect them to give the Lakers fits considering the circumstances of the game and the quality of both teams.
I wish I had more to say here, I really do. I’d much rather talk X’s and O’s and what the Lakers can do to win. But that’s for competitive teams. It’s for teams who perform competently more than this one does. It’s for teams who look like they’re put in positions to succeed and teams who look prepared to capitalize when put in those positions. These things do not describe the Lakers.