Lakers are 2-10 but they might not be at rock bottom yet

At least at rock bottom there is some finality when things cannot possibly get any worse.

For the Lakers? There are 70 more games to discover that probably don’t exist yet.

If that’s tough, consider Friday night’s debacle — a 120-114 loss to Sacramento that highlighted so many of the reasons this team is under .500 in eight games in less than a month into its season.

After the recent loss, one star, Anthony Davis, found his team’s basketball IQ was hit or miss at best. Another star, Russell Westbrook, whose mistakes helped spark a breakthrough run late in the second quarter, rushed out of the building without speaking to the media.

Coach Darvin Ham spoke of the need to pay attention to detail, appreciate the precision that execution requires and the “great thing” about taking responsibility. The Lakers’ other big offseason takeover, Patrick Beverley, sat petrified in an empty locker room and declined to speak to the media.

Both players had heavy hands in the Lakers’ troubles on Friday, Westbrook undoing so many of the positives he brought to the game with 90 seconds of unexplained basketball that got the Kings back in the game. And Beverley, the defensive stopper the team traded for this summer, couldn’t help the team get stops on the track while remaining underpowered offensively.

LeBron sitting out James with a groin injury should have been irrelevant. They gave away this game.

“We’ve got to put some wins together, we’ve got to start winning — ASAP,” Davis said.

When asked about the level of personal responsibility in his team’s dressing room, Davis said the boys acknowledge mistakes and that’s good. But repair? That’s what the Lakers really need.

“There’s a lot, like ‘My Cons,’ which is good,” Davis said. “But we can’t have a lot of ‘my faults’, especially during gameplay. So the guys see what we’re doing wrong in the film and we talk about it. “It’s on me. I have to do it. I gotta get that rebound. I have to unpack. I have to send it across the screen.’ However. “Set a better screen,” whatever the case may be.

“But often those are the pieces that kill us. So the ‘my mistakes’ are good, so the guys know their mistakes, but tight game situations, at the end of the stretch, there are some ‘my mistakes’ situations that we can’t have. It kind of costs us the game.”

Davis then mentioned the stretch at the end of the first half as the Lakers saw a 13-point lead reduced to four in under 90 seconds. Though he didn’t name Westbrook, the former MVP was in the midst of all the trouble.

He scored but then quickly got a technical foul for a taunt. The next time he has possession, he dribbles the ball away after complaining about the technique to the referee.

Then a bad pass from Westbrook sent the Kings into the break. He stopped it with a deliberate foul that was now penalized with a free throw and continued possession, giving the Kings a chance to score four more points.

Westbrook finished the game with 21 points, made three three-pointers, including a big one in the fourth quarter, and made 11 assists. But as so often during his tenure with the Lakers, the volume of his mistakes was turned up so loud that they couldn’t be ignored.

Despite this, Ham continued to mainly praise Westbrook.

“I thought there were some unfortunate plays that he wouldn’t normally make. But if I had to do it again, I would put him in the same situations,” Ham said. “I thought he would be great for us tonight. At the three-point line, he provided a tremendous boost. Overall with his score. And there were times when he picked up the pace. There were times when he really pushed the color. Found some guys for easy looks.

“But it’s tough. I have certain things that stuck in my memory, but without going through the film I can’t really go into detail. But I will say that again, if I had to do it again he would certainly be in the game – and in situations like this.

Without naming names, Davis’ response to a basketball IQ question was particularly scathing.

“We have our moments. Have our moments when our IQ is high and our moments when our IQ was very low – of all. I think we need to be more aware of the time-score situation,” Davis said. “For example, like at the end of the first half, they go on a run, 6-0 run – ‘slow it down. We have to get a quality look.’ Even if you miss, don’t get off in transition. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, we start the fourth quarter with two turnovers. Things like this where it’s like… we have to play basketball to win.

“Especially the way we play, our record, we have to be damn close to playing perfect basketball. It’s often self-inflicted, which is the most frustrating.”

However, self-inflicted means the Lakers will be able to stop doing those things that have been crippling in 12 games.

Currently, the Lakers own the league’s 30th offense and 18th defense with the 26th field goal percentage and worst three-point percentage. Last time they were .500 46 games ago.

Since January 25 of last season, the Lakers have won just 11 times.

“We have to find out,” Davis said. “We’ve got a lot of basketball left so we can turn it around. But I mean it was tough. It was hard. And I’m pretty sure all the other guys that came here didn’t expect it either.”

But considering the losses started 10 months ago, maybe everyone should have expected it. Ham recently dubbed this part of the season a “dig” so he and his team can lay a proper foundation. You should be a lot healthier next week if all goes well. The schedule should lighten up in some ways.

Does it matter if the team plays like this?

“The most important thing is not to get discouraged, man,” Ham said. “That is a challenge. It is by no means easy. But it’s one we’re ready for and one we’ll keep trying to plow through.

As the losses and frustrations mount, that belief becomes more and more stifled.

If nothing changes, it will eventually be wiped out. Lakers are 2-10 but they might not be at rock bottom yet

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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