Just when it looked like that a young Los Angeles Lakers team might not be so bad, eighth straight loss placed them on the last spot of the Western Conference with 11-26 record. The most painful defeat came on Wednesday night, while playing against the Oklahoma City Thunder. After a tied first quarter, the Lakers were crushed in the following three and suffered a 133-96 defeat. To make things even worse, the Thunder played majority of the second half with bench players. In words of Lakers’ promising rookie Kyle Kuzma, the team just “gave up”.
“We gave up,” – Kuzma said to ESPN after the game. “You could see, they got basket after basket, we had no resistance on them on the defensive end and offensive end. When things got tough, we tried to do it individually, and you can’t do that in this league. They took a little lead, and we just went to being selfish on the floor. We didn’t compete on defense. They killed us. … To lose by [nearly] 40, it is pretty embarrassing to be out there.“
Lakers’ coach Luke Walton added that both the fans and the organization “deserve better than that.“
It is important to note that the Lakers were without rookie point guard Lonzo Ball during this losing streak. Although Ball still didn’t provide enough to prove he is the future of the Lakers, he continues to progress and improve in his first NBA season.
Kuzma, the 27th overall pick in last year’s draft, on the other side, is fully embracing the chance he received from Walton. Clinching a starting position earlier in the season, he is currently averaging 17.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game and plays well above the preseason expectations.
The Los Angeles Lakers will have a chance to snap their losing streak on Friday when they face the Charlotte Hornets.