Los Angeles Lakers Suffer Another Blowout Loss and Injury on Nightmare Road Trip
LeBron James Expresses Concern as Lakers Struggle to Find Cohesion
HOUSTON — The Los Angeles Lakers’ road trip from hell continued on Wednesday night with a devastating 128-94 loss to the Houston Rockets. This defeat marks the Lakers’ fifth consecutive loss outside of their home arena, leaving them with a disappointing 3-5 record for the season.
LeBron James, who scored 18 points in 27 minutes, expressed his frustration with the team’s performance, admitting that he doesn’t know what to make of the Lakers so far. “I don’t have an assessment,” James said. Coach Darvin Ham made the decision to sit James for the entire fourth quarter as the game slipped out of reach.
The Lakers’ bench in the fourth quarter painted a grim picture of their current situation. With key players like Anthony Davis, Jaxson Hayes, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Jalen Hood-Schifino sidelined due to injuries, the team’s lack of cohesion was evident. “I mean, we can’t build cohesion if we don’t have our unit,” James lamented. “It’s just, we’re very depleted on the injury side.”
There is hope that Davis will return for the Lakers’ final game of the road trip against the Phoenix Suns on Friday. However, his return alone won’t solve all of the team’s problems. The Lakers have struggled in the first quarters of their games, being outscored by a staggering 74 points in the opening period. Additionally, their performance from the 3-point line has been historically poor, making fewer 3-pointers and shooting a worse percentage than their opponents in each of their first eight games.
Coach Ham acknowledged the challenges the team is facing with players constantly in and out of the lineup. “But at the end of the day, no one is going to feel sorry for you, especially when you’re a Los Angeles Laker,” he said.
The Lakers now face the daunting task of turning their season around after openly discussing championship aspirations during training camp. Point guard D’Angelo Russell believes that the team needs to relax and find a way to play for each other. “Getting healthy first is one [step],” Russell said. “Two, just playing for one another. I think that’s the first start: having that mentality we’re going to play for each other and just make things easier for each other.”
Despite the gloomy outlook, there was a silver lining in Wednesday’s game with Rui Hachimura’s return from a four-game absence due to the league’s concussion protocol. Hachimura made an immediate impact off the bench, scoring 24 points on 10-for-14 shooting and grabbing 8 rebounds.
However, even Hachimura acknowledged the challenges of constantly adjusting to different lineups and new teammates. “It’s almost like we have a trade every day, you know?” he said.
Taurean Prince, who stepped into the starting forward role in the absence of Vanderbilt, expressed the difficulty of dealing with missing pieces. “You don’t want to use that as an excuse, but you keep it in the back of your mind, knowing that certain things could be different given a certain situation,” Prince said. “But life doesn’t work that way.”
The Lakers now face a critical juncture in their season as they try to regroup and find a way to overcome their mounting challenges. Only time will tell if they can turn things around and live up to their championship aspirations.