While rumors continue to swirl about who will and will not be a member of the Los Angeles Lakers after Thursday’s trade deadline, the Lakers still had a game to play on Tuesday before they get there. But in their trip to Indianapolis, LA showed an inability to ignore the buzz and focus on basketball.
The Lakers went to Indiana and got routed, falling 136-94. It was LA’s second straight loss and second in three games since LeBron James returned from a groin injury that sidelined him for more than a month. For James, it was the most lopsided loss of his career, and one of the most lopsided in Lakers history.
Afterward, on Access Sportsnet Postgame on Spectrum SN, Derek Fisher pointed to the team’s lack of focus on the game as a key issue in their defeat.
“It was hard to bring the focus to Bankers Life Fieldhouse tonight,” Fish said. “There’s been so much going on, so much conversation, that really made it hard, from the beginning. The Pacers got off to a hot start and Luke burned a timeout early to give the team a chance to refocus, and they really did some work to get back into the game. But a poor end to the first quarter just kind of opened the floodgates and it was over from there.”
The number of the night was 19, as Indiana sank a franchise record 19 three-pointers and the Lakers turned the ball over 19 times, leading directly to 33 Pacers points.
“It speaks to them not being connected as a group, whether it’s veterans or young guys,” Derek opined. “It’s a team sport, and when you’re not all rowing in the same direction, it becomes easier for your opponent to find the gaps and find the opportunities to crack you and fracture you. And that’s what happened tonight. The Pacers are a good team, it’s not like they went and played against a bad team and lost this way. But as soon as [The Lakers] met resistance and adversity in a heavy way, there was no chance from there cause they weren’t connected as a group going into it.”
Watch D-Fish, Big Game James Worthy and Chris McGee break it all down below!
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) February 6, 2019