A night after losing to the worst team in the NBA, the Lakers were blown out of the building, courtesy of a 143-107 drubbing from the Minnesota Timberwolves. With a roster full of young players on one year contracts, it was expected that the team would have a hard time being competitive on a consistent basis.
Following the loss, Mike D’Antoni called out his players, saying they focused too much on individual stats rather than team success, as quoted by Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
D’Antoni says the guys came out unfocused and once that happens they start going one-on-one and trying to improve individual stats.
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) March 29, 2014
With only 10 games remaining on the schedule as well as the Lakers being eliminated from playoff contention weeks ago, the players can easily lose focus during the course of the games. Without the backing of a long term contract, players can try to overexert themselves in hopes of proving their worth to the other 29 teams in the league.
Coming into the season, the Lakers were able to play inspired basketball because of these young players who were playing with a chip on their shoulder. As the season wore on and the injuries and losses mounted, the Lakers started to lose the cohesiveness and chip that allowed them to perform so well earlier in the season.
With the season dwindling down, Laker fans can only hope that the players can continue to compete as a team on a more consistent basis. This team consists of quite a few players that have the ability to contribute on a contending team, but they would be better served focusing on team aspects instead of individual if they are hoping to cement a place in the league.
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