Los Angeles Lakers guard Malik Monk heaped praise on traveling Lakers fans for their emphatic support that makes away games feel like home games.
The Lakers have had a disastrous start to the 2021/22 season, but Lakers Nation have been vehement in their support of the team irrespective of how badly they have played. L.A. has a 10-10 record and currently sits ninth in the loaded Western Conference. But they can take some positives from how they've played in the past couple of games, giving fans plenty to cheer for like LeBron James' brilliant performance against the Indiana Pacers.
Malik Monk, in an interview with Lakers Nation's Matt Peralta, was appreciative of Lakers fans' emphatic support on the road, allowing players to be more comfortable and just play their game without having to worry too much. Here's what he said:
Man, it’s always like that except for Madison Square [Garden], It’s always a home game for us these road trips I’ve been on with the Lakers. It’s a great atmosphere to have. It lets you be more comfortable. It just lets you go out there and play your game.”
The Los Angeles Lakers have one of the most loyal yet demanding fan bases in sports history that is used to winning. Hence, it is up to the players like Malik Monk to give it their all to win every time they step on the court. The Lakers have the talent but have struggled with injuries and effort this season. However, they still have the opportunity to put together a brilliant run and try to get back in the groove. They have to carry forward the momentum they gained from the Pacers game and make the most of it.
Did the Los Angeles Lakers make a huge blunder by prioritizing acquiring offensive weapons such as Malik Monk over retaining their defensive stalwarts?
The Los Angeles Lakers had a rollercoaster off-season considering the flurry of moves they made. The headline was to acquire superstar Russell Westbrook in exchange for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell Pope. The Lakers also acquired the likes of Malik Monk and Wayne Ellington, who are both considered elite shooters in the league.
The Lakers acquisitions clearly show that they valued offensive pieces and shooting this season over defensive stalwarts such as Alex Caruso and KCP, who were crucial during their championship run. The move seems to have backfired initially, with the Lakers defense taking a massive hit, falling to the lower half of the rankings in most defensive categories. This is a huge slide for what was once a top-five defense.
L.A., in an effort to lessen the burden on LeBron James on the offensive end, has now put more pressure on coach Frank Vogel and Anthony Davis to make things click on defense, which looks like a painstaking task considering the way their roster is constructed.
The Lakers will have to hope that injured players Trevor Ariza and Kendrick Nunn can return and make an immediate impact on the defensive end to mask their inefficiencies. Otherwise, they may have to make a move or two before the trade deadline if they are to have a good chance of succeeding in the post-season.
This just might be one of those decisions that comes back to bite Rob Pelinka and the Los Angeles Lakers.