The Los Angeles Lakers have had a rough go of things lately. They came into Tuesday night 3-7 in their last 10 games with one in in their last four games, an absolutely brutal stretch for a team with postseason aspirations. Fortunately, on Tuesday, they got to get off their recent trip on the struggle bus with a game against the lowly Atlanta Hawks and oh god everything’s on fire.
The Hawks defended their home court against LeBron James and co., with Los Angeles losing 117-113. Six Atlanta players scored in double-figures, led by John Collins and Trae Young dropping 22 points each. The rookie guard was extra impressive, doling out 14 assists and reeling in six boards in the win.
But with all due respect to Atlanta, which picked up a huge win outside of that whole “Zion Williamson is there for the team with the top draft pick” thing, Los Angeles is kind of in shambles right now. The good news is the Lakers are now officially at the All-Star Break, giving them the chance to rest and relax and get physically and mentally right for the stretch run. This is something Luke Walton believes the squad desperately needs right now.
As for what’s wrong with the team right now, Kyle Kuzma seems like he believes a lack of one specific thing sticks out.
Then, there’s James, whose streak of making the postseason in each of the last of the last 13 season is in serious jeopardy with the Lakers 2.5 games back of the eight seed in the Western Conference. Despite this, he’s not too concerned about his streak getting snapped.
James is the leader in Los Angeles, and while … let’s say reserving his energy during the regular season isn’t something new for him, being on this Lakers team and being on a Cleveland Cavaliers squad that could back into the postseason and get a top-4 seed are completely different things. It’s a good mindset to have — you can overwhelm yourself worrying too much about this sort of thing — but perhaps the time off for the All-Star Game will give everyone a chance to recalibrate their approach for the stretch run.