Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday in a loss that is the bottom point of a young but already tumultuous season. Blowing a 26-point lead to the previously winless Oklahoma City Thunder was a wake up call early in the year that this team is nowhere close to what most believe it could be by the end of the season. It was also a worrying display from a team that was supposed to enter the season with a chip on their shoulders after a disappointing year that ended in the first round of the playoffs.
Until Wednesday’s performance, most of the Lakers’ struggles were chalked up to an adjustment period for a team that has 12 new players from last year, including a new star who historically takes time to feel comfortable with a new team and perform at his highest level.
But if you ask Anthony Davis, the adjustment period excuse can’t be used for the embarrassing loss they suffered against OKC:
“No, this ain’t no adjustment period at all,” the star big man said to reporters after the game. “Not this game. This is just straight up on us. Other games, it’s possible. But this isn’t an adjustment game where I feel like we’re always still learning each other. Not this game.”
The Lakers have a variety of built-in excuses for that display, from playing on the second night of a back-to-back after an overtime thriller to their various injuries including LeBron James. But that’s all they are: excuses. The Lakers rolled to a 26-point first-half lead and let a team widely expected to be in the bottom two of the western conference come storming back with no fight until the closing seconds that saw Russell Westbrook get ejected after a frustrating second half.
The Lakers were fortunate to get an easy start to their schedule where they could work out those early season issues against lesser competition. Losing those games is a worrying sign and Davis reiterated that regardless of the process of evolving as a team, that was a game they would want to have back:
“We got a veteran ball club. We know we’re not supposed to lose that game. It’s a tough one for sure.
“This is not just a game, but the next couple of games where we can get a rhythm against teams that are in the bottom half of the league I guess. We’re supposed to win this one, but I think it’s one that we just flush it. We all know what we’re supposed to do from an individual standpoint and a team standpoint. We move on and get ready for Friday.”
The Lakers will host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday with a chance to get that bitter taste out of their mouths. The Cavs are a team they should beat but they have been a solid and dangerous squad to start the season. If the Lakers show the same effort that they did on Wednesday, things could hit another low point.