The Los Angeles Lakers came up short in their season opener, falling 128-119 to the Portland Trail Blazers. There were multiple reasons for the loss, but an unexpected one was the play of reserve guard Nik Stauskas, and Josh Hart was not happy about it.
Stauskas scored 16 points in the first half, and finished with 24 overall while knocking down five 3-pointers. Hart actually had an excellent night himself, finishing with 20 points, but as someone who prides himself on defense, believes he could’ve done more to shut down the Blazers’ primary hot hand.
Following the loss, Hart spoke about his defense on Stauskas, believing he could’ve done more early on to prevent him from getting as hot as he did, as seen on Spectrum SportsNet:
“I kind of wish right when I got in I played a little bit better defense off the ball. He might not have got as hot. That happens in this league. Everyone can score. Just got to make sure we get the adjustments down and get better on defense. … A couple ones off the ball where I probably could’ve been more attached. He got a couple easy one early that I could’ve either prevented or made tougher. That’s just the attention to detail that I have to get better at.”
It’s unfair to put the blame solely on Hart who was undoubtedly one of the best Lakers on the night. The second-year guard had three steals and two blocks in addition to being the second-leading scorer for the team.
Defense falls on the entire team, and everyone must shore up on that end. Nonetheless, this mindset is what makes Hart such a promising player.
He is solely focused on what he could’ve done better as opposed to all of the positives he showed. There is no doubt that he will take this to heart and come out even more focused when the Lakers take the floor again.
Want to get your content COMPLETELY AD FREE? Follow us on Apple News!