The Los Angeles Lakers finally had a game where all of their stars were healthy. They are in the midst of attempting a late season push for the playoffs however displayed no urgency in their loss last night to the Washington Wizards. After the 103-100 loss, head coach Mike D'Antoni was none too pleased with his team's effort.
D'Antoni believes the Lakers do not have the ability to go out and play hard every game. The Lakers wasted an 18-point first-half lead. At this point, D'Antoni calls the idea of a championship laughable.
"No one understands the importance of every possession offensively and deffensively. Every time they got to come out with some kind of determination to be a good basketball team, and until then, we're just, we're just, we're fooling ourselves. Right now, that's what we're going. We're just making a 'sham-mockery' out of it," D'Antoni said.
Friday's loss is the second straight loss to an opponent with a record below .500. The team lost to Phoenix Monday, 99-76. D'Antoni believes the team takes on the mentality that once they are up, they no longer have to try hard. He believes they are just messing with the basketball gods at this point.
Now, the Lakers are only have a 1 1/2 game lead over Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The team has lost three of their last five games but they have still been able to hold onto the spot due to Utah going 2-8 in their past 10 games.
After leading 35-19 at the end of the first quarter, the Lakers then lost control in the fourth quarter, going 9-for-20 from the field. Kobe Bryant went 4-for-10, eventually finishing with 21 points and 11 assists. in the loss. D'Antoni blames it all on lack of ball movement. Dwight Howard did score 20 points in the loss on 8-for-9 shooting. However he took zero shot attempts in the fourth quarter. Bryant believes the team is just overconfident.
"I think the game becomes really easy and you think you can score whenever you want to and get stops whenever you want to and then all of the sudden the momentum swings," Bryant said.
Steve Nash believes the team is playing "with the game, instead of playing the game." The Lakers begin a four-game road trip on Monday against the Golden State Warriors that could determine their fate in the post season.