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HomeUncategorized‘More exasperating than troubling’ – Orange County Register

‘More exasperating than troubling’ – Orange County Register

LOS ANGELES — The Lakers have encountered a similar inquiry multiple times just past the midway point of the 2023-24 regular season.

Following Friday night’s 130-112 home defeat to the Brooklyn Nets, the question resurfaced once again: How can they avert a challenging loss from impacting future performances? Particularly when it appeared that they were beginning to make progress in their season?

Coach Darvin Ham expressed, “You exhibit it on film. You scrutinize it. You address it with the group. We’ve encountered a few of those this year and we generally respond positively to it. And this is no different. You take all the positives, the negatives, the unsightly and you display it to them and endeavor to improve from it.”

Upon reviewing the footage from the loss, the Lakers will likely observe an offense that lacked the same level of organization and purposeful attack as showcased in Wednesday’s home triumph against the Dallas Mavericks, or even in Monday’s win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Not to mention a defense that permitted the Nets to gain momentum in the second half due to miscommunications – a sentiment echoed by both D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Davis after the game.

Although the Lakers held a 37-28 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 68-62 advantage at halftime, they allowed the Nets to outscore them 68-44 in the second half, with Brooklyn scoring 102 points in the final three quarters.

“They deploy a lineup that’s highly versatile,” Russell remarked. “If you don’t communicate, they’ll exploit it through slips and screens and undoubtedly [Nets coach] Jacque Vaughn is an exceptional coach. He devises plays and positions them to capitalize on any miscommunication or lapse on our part. That’s what they did [Friday], they took advantage of it.”

Davis added, “Plenty of miscommunication. When we’re meant to go over screens, we went under some. We score and then they promptly secure a wide-open layup in transition, which is nonsensical. Some miscommunication where we’re probably helping when we shouldn’t, the coverage is somewhat disrupted and they’re swinging the ball and players are obtaining wide-open three-pointers. Just aspects that we were able to manage in the past couple of games but failed to do in the third quarter.”<

After impressive triumphs over the Thunder and Mavericks, Friday could have marked the Lakers’ third consecutive triumph – a winning streak they haven’t encountered since claiming the In-Season Tournament last month. The Lakers (21-22) are yet to achieve three consecutive regular-season victories independent of the tournament and have a 14-22 record in non-tournament fixtures.

However, Friday turned out to be another setback. Ultimately, it remains just one game, but the fluctuation between commendable performances and disappointing ones has left the Lakers teetering on the edge of the play-in standings (seeds 7-10) in the Western Conference.

“It’s been somewhat of a recurrent pattern for us, but as I mentioned, when you have two, you’re striving to establish a rhythm and you have two exceptional games on both ends of the court,” Davis commented. “And then you essentially regress in the second half of this game and essentially play no defense against these opponents.

“Players are obtaining uncontested shots, easy layups, effortless dunks, we’re committing fouls, weren’t grabbing rebounds. We simply didn’t execute anything on the defensive end. And allowed them to build confidence and the rims seemed much larger for them.”

Is it distressing that the Lakers haven’t consistently strung together strong performances? According to Davis, it’s more frustrating than concerning that the positive carryover hasn’t materialized.

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