The Los Angeles Lakers have lost four straight games and were officially eliminated from playoff contention as a result of Friday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. Despite yet another loss for the Lakers and failing to clinch a playoff spot for a fourth straight year, forward Larry Nance Jr. believes the on-court scuffle that took place against Milwaukee may have helped the team.
The second-year forward expressed a similar sentiment in comparison to teammate Nick Young and head coach Luke Walton about the altercation with the Bucks on Friday. Nance feels as if it may have brought the team closer together, via Mark Medina of the OC Register:
“It brings you closer as a team. It lets you know that if you’re out there, I got your back no matter what,” Nance said. “Obviously you never want to see fights on the basketball court. But when something like that happens, it’s good to see everyone come together to protect our guy.”
Although the altercation with the Bucks resulted in a different kind of energy and competitive fire from Nance and his teammates after they backed up Nick Young in the on-court scuffle, the Lakers still fell to Milwaukee on Friday. Now the team will hope to carry over some of that energy into a tough matchup against the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night at the Staples Center.
The Lakers will need to give everything they’ve got on Sunday to take down LeBron James and company who have also been struggling as of late. The Cavaliers are coming off a 30-point loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and will be looking to bounce back against a Lakers squad that has only won 20 games all season long.
If the altercation with Milwaukee did indeed bring the team together, it will be put to the test on Sunday with the Cavaliers not wanting to leave Los Angeles with back-to-back losses.