The Los Angeles Lakers have lost their first 12 games of the 2022–23 NBA season, marking their second consecutive five-game losing streak. They’ll have a chance to make some progress tonight when they play the Brooklyn Nets, but they won’t have their most outstanding player, All-Star forward LeBron James, with them.
One player that should be available this evening for Los Angeles is Anthony Davis, a big man, who spoke with the assembled media following the team’s most recent defeat, a humiliating 120-114 defeat to the Sacramento Kings,
The relevant Davis quote regarding the team’s response is as follows:
“We have a lot of basketball left, but we’ve dug ourselves a hole. The energy in our locker room feels like 2-10, as it should. We have to start stringing wins together right away. Especially with the way we’re playing and our record, we have to play perfect basketball. A lot of the time, it’s self-inflicted, which is the most frustrating. We’ve got players that [are] trying, probably never been in the circumstances like this. Therefore, we must continue to assist them. And understand the proper reads, such as when to shoot, when not to shoot, and when to take a disputed three; third-quarter shots are not equivalent to fourth-quarter shots.”
It is pretty revealing because Davis has previously stated that his squad must “damn near play perfect basketball.” That’s a direct evaluation of the talent gap between this current Lakers group and a large portion of the NBA. With blowout losses in four of its last five games, this club has little room for error.
Beyond the contracts of Davis, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Patrick Beverley, the roster of Los Angeles is primarily populated by experienced minimum and mid-level exception signings. Beverley has been performing at or near the minimum signing level of one of those veterans. The Lakers must deal to advance. It will be interesting to see how willing they are to accomplish that.