For the first time this season, the Los Angeles Lakers were playing with a lead for much of Friday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors.
They led by as many as 17 at one point, but a 14-0 run in the fourth quarter for Toronto ultimately led to a 101-92 loss at Staples Center for the Lakers.
Turnovers played a big factor in the game as the Lakers had 21 compared to only 14 for Toronto, which has become a theme for this young Lakers team so far through their first five games.
After the game, Lakers head coach Luke Walton said he was happy with his team’s effort, but called turnovers their biggest problem, via Lakers Reporter Mike Trudell:
Walton thought the overall effort, and competition level in defense, was impressive. Turnovers were biggest problem (21). Also 3 of 23 3’s.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 28, 2017
So far in the Lakers five games they have turned the ball over 20, 17, 19, 22 and 21 times, which comes out to an average of 19.8 per game, obviously way too high for any NBA team.
A lot of the Lakers turnovers are a result of them trying to get out in transition and run though, which has been a big focus of Walton’s with Lonzo Ball at point guard. As is the case with any young team, the Lakers are going through a learning curve of knowing when to push the pace and when to slow things down and get under control. So it will take some time, something that Walton understands.
As Walton also mentioned, the Lakers have struggled with their outside shooting, making just three of their 23 three-point attempts, so when you’re turning the ball over and missing shots that makes it awfully tough to win a game even if your defense is performing at a high level.