The Los Angeles Lakers are allowing their young players to get plenty of playing time, but that isn’t translating into many wins on the court. After trading leading scorer Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets before the trade deadline in February, it was clear that the Lakers are looking to the future, even if that makes the present a bit more challenging.
In return for Williams, the Lakers received a 2017 first round pick and veteran forward Corey Brewer, who hopes to help show the team’s youngsters what it takes to make it in the NBA. However, after a blowout loss to Brewer’s former team, the Rockets, he had some pointed comments about how the team failed to handle adversity (via Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times):
Corey Brewer on the young Lakers learning to handle adversity. "If they don't learn it, they won't be in the league long." pic.twitter.com/S5c0tfOAAx
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) March 16, 2017
While Brewer certainly doesn’t pull any punches, he is also correct. It may have been asking a bit much for the Lakers to come back against the offensive juggernaut that the Rockets have become (including Williams, who scored a team-high 30 points), but it is important for the young players to continue to believe in themselves and their ability to find success.
One thing that we haven’t seen the Lakers do much of recently is play quality team ball, though that is something that comes with age and experience. Still, as Brewer notes, it’s going to be important for the team to find their way quickly.
Not only is Los Angeles eager to see a victorious Lakers squad once again, but the NBA is also unforgiving for players who can’t produce on the court. While none of the Lakers young core are in danger of being cut, the reality of professional basketball is that there is always someone coming down the line ready to take your spot and your minutes.