The struggling Los Angeles Lakers take on the San Antonio Spurs on the second night of a back-to-back on Wednesday evening. Entering the game in San Antonio, the Lakers are winless in 2013. Without Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, and Dwight Howard available for the game, the Lakers need to play a near-perfect game to overcome the Spurs.
San Antonio has lost two of its last four games, but both those losses came on the road. At home, the Spurs are 14-2 on the season. The last time the Spurs lost at home, the Clippers beat them in the middle of November. Nearly two months later, a wounded Lakers team is coming to pay a visit.
In Tuesday’s game, Steve Nash and the Lakers allowed 125 points. It was easy to blame the injured Lakers on the inside, and that definitely played a part.
“What’s troubling is that when we were healthy, we weren’t stopping anyone either,” Nash said after the game.
Nash hit 10,000 assists at the end of the first half against Houston, but he was not in the mood to celebrate or discuss the achievement. It was a frustrated locker room after the game, as the disbelief of constantly losing has started to turn into anger.
Darius Morris, who scored 12 points in 17 minutes, was one of the more frustrated players. “Enough is enough,” he said. “I’m tired of it…it is to the point where this is unacceptable.”
Morris touched on the Lakers’ lack of fight and their habit of constantly giving up open 3-pointers and layups. With the Spurs averaging 105 points per game, the Lakers need to clean it up in a hurry or Wednesday evening could be a horror show.
One of the few positives the Lakers can take into Wednesday’s game at the AT&T Center is that they have topped 100 points in their last three games. Offensively, the Lakers still managed 112 points without Gasol, Howard, and Hill available to contribute. That should be enough points to win a game, but it was not.
Even with the slew of injuries, the Lakers’ defense is clearly the problem with this team. Defense doesn’t just win championships; defense wins regular season games. At the moment, the Lakers cannot play defense. Unless that changes, the Lakers are in for a long night in San Antonio.